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House Passes Bill By Ventura County Congresswoman To Keep Drones Away From Wildfires

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The House of Representatives approved a provision by a Ventura County congresswoman to increase penalties for drone use which interfere with wildfire firefighting efforts. HR 636 reauthorizes Federal Aviation Administration programs, but also includes a clause by Democratic Congresswoman Julia Brownley of Westlake Village to deal with drone interference issues. Brownley says there were 18 documented instances last year of unmanned aerial systems disrupting aerial firefighting efforts. In the last month, a drone interfered with efforts to fight the still burning Pine Fire in the Los padres National Forest, in Ventura County. The legislation would increase the potential penalty for people whose drones interfere with firefighting from around a thousand dollars to $20,000 dollars. The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration.