NorCal Man Becomes First in California to Be Arrested for Flying Drone Into Firefighting Zone

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The Trailhead fire broke out along the middle fork of the American River near Todd Valley. (Credit: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection via LA Times)

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A Placer County man was taken into custody Friday on suspicion of flying a drone into a firefighting effort northeast of Sacramento.

Information posted on social media helped lead to the arrest of Eric Wasser, 57, of Foresthill. Cal Fire officers took him into custody, booked him into the Placer County Jail in Auburn and charged him with interfering with firefighting operations, a misdemeanor.

He also could face prosecution from federal authorities for violating restricted air space, said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Berlant said the arrest over a drone’s interference with firefighting was a first in California.

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