$75K Reward to Catch Pilots Who Flew Drones Over California Wildfires

Officials want to know who flew drones near several wildfires in California's San Bernardino mountains, causing firefighters to temporarily ground their flame-battling planes.

The reward for someone who identifies the drone operators? $75,000.

Drones Interfere With California Firefighters Battling Wildfires 2:14

"In the most recent fire, the North Fire, we saw cars and trucks burning on the freeway, we saw homes burn, and we saw families running for their lives," Jorge Ramos, chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement.

"We want to know who was flying drones, and we want them punished," he said. "Someone knows who they are, and there is $75,000 waiting for them."

San Bernardino District Attorney Mike Ramos said that the drone operators could be prosecuted for murder if the drones caused delays that led to deaths of any firefighters or civilians.

Related: Drones Flying Over Huge California Fire Hindered Firefighters: Officials

Small drones pose a danger because they can be sucked into the jet engines of low-flying air tankers, county officials said.

San Bernardino County is offering up to $25,000 for information on three separate July incidents. Drones were seen flying above the Lake Fire, Mill 2 Fire and the North Fire, the last of which jumped the 15 Freeway to destroy 20 vehicles and four homes.