It's a simple message from two state legislators to anyone who decides to fly a drone aircraft above a fire or other major emergency scene in California: Rescue crews should be able to destroy your remote-controlled device.
"We don't imagine someone shooting it out of the sky," said Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Glendale), one of the authors of the legislation. "Yet the existing law is insufficient to provide law enforcement that clear authority to take it down."
Gatto and state Sen. Ted Gaines (R-Rocklin) have teamed up on two pieces of drone-related legislation: The first bill would increase fines and make possible jail time for a drone that interferes with firefighting efforts.
The growing popularity of inexpensive remote-controlled planes equipped with video cameras has produced a number of thorny policy questions and has been a hot topic of discussion at the state Capitol for the past few years, most notably on concerns over privacy.
But drones being flown into fire zones and other emergency response scenes have presented a more immediate danger, with the latest incident coming last week when a remote device forced air tankers to back off for 25 minutes in efforts to control a fast-moving blaze.