Thousands of dollars of equipment were stolen from the trucks of Oregon firefighters who were resting before they went out to battle a raging wildfire that has consumed more than 250 square miles.
According to KVAL, the firefighters from Lane County, Oregon, drove 230 miles to the southern corner of the state this past weekend to help deal with the Chetco Bar Fire near Brookings, Oregon. Arriving late Friday, the crew went to sleep for a few hours, resting before they planned to help combat the fire, which is only five percent contained and is the biggest in the state, according to The Oregonian.
Sometime between midnight and 4:30 a.m. Saturday, a thief ransacked the firefighters’ trucks, an official told the Eugene Register-Guard. The person or persons took an oxygen tank, a firefighter’s bag, a flat-headed axe and a firefighter jacket, among other items, according to KIEM. The total value of the stolen items was put at several thousand dollars, the station reports.
However, the crew later found several of the stolen items dumped nearby, per the Register-Guard, and were still able to go to the fire line and help with the blaze.
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A report was filed with Brookings police by the firefighters, but no arrests have been made yet.
The West Coast, and particularly Oregon, are suffering through one of the worst wildfire seasons in recent memory, according to the Associated Press, even as it is supposed to be winding down. The Chetco Bar Fire is expected to burn for at least another month.
Not helping things are the people who burgled the Lane County firefighters — and a group of teenagers suspected of setting off another massive fire in the northern part of the state near Portland. Witnesses say several giggling young people started the blaze, which is now more than 30,000 acres, by setting off fireworks in a dry area.