Ventura County Fire Department Sheriff Bill Ayub says the drones create a safety hazard and are illegal to fly
Police in California have criticized the person responsible for flying a photography drone over a fast-growing wildfire, saying the device’s flight path created a “dangerous situation” by getting in the way of crews working to contain the blaze.
The Maria Fire, which started Thursday night from a hilltop near Santa Paula, has burned through more than 8,000 acres and appears to be 0 percent contained as of early Friday morning. The blaze is currently threatening nearly 2,000 structures and has placed 7,500 residents in an area west of Los Angeles under evacuation orders, police say.
“Our firefighting aerial efforts were hampered by someone flying… a small drone, apparently looking at photography of the fire,” Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub told reporters Thursday night. “This created quite a dangerous situation. It’s not only illegal, but it hampers our firefighting effort.