San Diego County Board of Supervisors will meet to discuss drone legislation

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will meet Tuesday to consider new legislation in regards to unmanned aircrafts interfering with firefighting efforts. 

The proposal by Supervisor Bill Horn would have the county lobby for passage of two bills in particular.

House Resolution 3025, by Rep. Paul Cook, R-Apple Valley, would make an interfering drone operator subject to a fine and up to five years in federal prison.

The proposed punishment would range from fines of $200 to $2,000, or for intentional and reckless acts, up to six months in jail and/or a fine of $5,000.

During the early stages of a June wildfire in San Bernardino, drones prevented aerial drops of fire retardant. Fire officials also said drones interfered with efforts to battle a brush fire last month in the Cajon Pass. 

"In those (early) moments, it will be crucial that all of our aerial resources are able to contribute, as safely as possible, to containing the fire and preventing it from spreading,'' Horn said.

"Interfering with aerial firefighting operations, with drones or otherwise, exacerbates an already dangerous situation for firefighters, both on the ground and in the air, and increases the likelihood of further damage,'' he said.

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