Burglar stole timecards, $7K in gear from vehicle during Calif. wildfire, FF says

The firefighter said all of her camping gear as well as financial and IT equipment were stolen in the burglary


Katie Dowd
SFGate, San Francisco

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — Firefighter Sarah Lee, who is fighting the Woodward Fire in Point Reyes National Seashore, told KPIX that $7,000 of gear was stolen out of her car on Tuesday.

Lee, who works for the Bureau of Land Management, was staying at a hotel in San Rafael in between fire shifts. On Tuesday morning, she went down to her vehicle in the parking lot to discover it had been ransacked.

A firefighter battling the Woodward Fire says $7K in gear, including all of her camping gear, as well as financial equipment and time cards were stolen when her vehicle was burgled Tuesday. (Photo/Point Reyes National Seashore, National Park Service)
A firefighter battling the Woodward Fire says $7K in gear, including all of her camping gear, as well as financial equipment and time cards were stolen when her vehicle was burgled Tuesday. (Photo/Point Reyes National Seashore, National Park Service)

"I'd taken as much as I could into the hotel room with me, but all of my camping gear that I’ve been collecting for 20 years of fighting fire, all of the equipment that we use to set up the finance section that we’d packed up from here, all of the IT, that was all gone," Lee told KPIX.

Also stolen were firefighters' timecards, which means Lee's team will need to individually contact firefighters to determine their hours all over again.

The Woodward Fire, located about three miles southwest of Olema, was started by a lightning strike on Aug. 18 and has burned 2,739 acres. Over 250 fire personnel are on the scene. It is 5% contained.

"Today's operations will continue with direct and indirect line construction on north, east and south sides of the fire," Marin County Fire said in a Wednesday morning update. "A dozer line on the north side of the fire is 3/4 done and is expected to be completed by the end of the day ... They will start mop up work along the south portion of the fire, which should limit the fire in the coastal brush and limit southern movement into the flashy fuels toward Bolinas."

This is the second time in recent days a firefighter battling Northern California wildfires has been targeted by thieves. Over the weekend, a ground commander near Bonny Doon discovered his work truck was broken into. His wallet was stolen and he had his bank account drained, Cal Fire officials said. They're seeking a suspect seen on surveillance footage allegedly using the man's credit card.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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