San Bernardino officials announce $75K reward to catch problematic drone operators

San Bernardino officials announce $75K reward to catch problematic drone operators

San Bernardino County officials have announced a reward of $75,000 for anyone who would help authorities in identifying drone operators who obstructed firefighting operations over the recent past.

Officials said they wanted to apprehend those who flew drones near numerous wildfires in mountainous region of San Bernardino County in California. The drones caused firefighters to temporarily ground their fire-battling planes.

Jorge Ramos, the chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, said they wanted to punish those who obstructed firefighting operations.

Announcing the reward, Ramos said, "In the most recent fire, the North Fire, we saw cars and trucks burning on the freeway, we saw homes burn, and we saw families running for their lives. We want to know who was flying drones, and we want them punished. Someone knows who they are, and there is $75,000 waiting for them."

The County is offering up to $25,000 for information leading to drone operators who flew drones above the North Fire, Lake Fire and Mill 2 Fire. The North Fire destroyed at least 20 vehicles and four houses.

Mike Ramos, district attorney for San Bernardino, cautioned that a person operating a drone could be prosecuted for murder if his/her drone causes delays leading to deaths of any civilians or firefighters. Though drones are small, yet they can pose a big danger as they can be sucked into the jet engines of low-flying fire-battling planes.

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