MILL CREEK CANYON (CBSLA.com)  —   Authorities said Sunday that their efforts to fight a 35-acre brush fire in Mill Creek Canyon was hampered by a drone.

The blaze started  near Highway 38 and Bryant Street.The fire was first reported at approximately 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

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Four large homes were threatened. Mundel said there was an evacuation of those homes.

Officials said heavy brush was involved. While water and Phoschek dropping aircraft were deployed, they had to be temporarily grounded with the drone in the area.

Officials said the drone hampered their efforts for at least 20 minutes.

Stu Mundel, reporting in Sky 2, said the fire appeared to be contained by 5 p.m. with firefighters working on a few hot spots.

Highway 38 was closed between Bryant Street and Lake Williams.

KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo reported it was the third time in several weeks that a drone as interfered with firefighters in San Bernardino alone.

Officials in Sacramento called a news conference last week to address the growing drone problem.

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California lawmakers are moving forward with a bill to stiffen fines for those who would interfere with firefighters by flying drones.

Currently, drone operators face a fine of $1,000.

Glendale Assemblyman Mike Gatto told Fajardo he is hoping to up the penalty. He thinks if common sense won’t stop this practice, a still penalty will.

Gatto’s SB 167 — co-sponsored with a state senator — has already already made it out of committee and is expected to pass the assembly and the state senate. He told Fajardo if all goes well the bill could make it to Governor Brown’s desk by mid-Septemeber.

 

 

 

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