Public Safety

Board Backs Bills to Penalize Drone Interference in Fires

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to support state and federal bills creating penalties for flying hobby drones where they could interfere with aerial firefighting operations.

Chairman Bill Horn proposed the item to express support for State Bill 167 and House Resolution 3025, which define who is authorized to fly in a wildfire zone and would establish fines and imprisonment for operating the unmanned vehicles.

Horn said the temporary grounding of firefighting aircraft during the recent fire at Cajon Pass because several drones were being flown in the area showed the need for the penalties.  

The board item states that this issue is of concern in San Diego County because it is prone to wildfires and any interference from drones in a firefight could result in further fire damage and exacerbate an already dangerous situation for firefighters and for those on the ground as well.

Yvette Urrea Moe is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact