POINT REYES STATION (CBS SF) — As if the flames from the Woodward Fire in Point Reyes National Seashore aren’t enough to deal with, burglars have again victimized a firefighter, the latest instance this week of NorCal firefighters being targeted for theft.
Firefighter Sarah Lee discovered Tuesday morning that all her gear stolen after the SUV was broken into last night at the Sheraton Four Point Hotel where she was staying. Lee is the finance chief for a group of federal firefighters from Colorado battling the fire in the national park.
“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 I-T, that was all gone.”
In total, Lee says about $7,000 worth of gear is gone. It’s the second time someone on her team of 60 firefighters has had their car broken into this week.
On Saturday, a 90-year-old evacuee staying at the same hotel had his car stolen with all his possessions inside.
“Last night we were focused on that the fire was staying away, the evacuations, we’re worried about the safety of aircraft in the air- so to walk out in the morning when you are already kind of tired and you’re focused on trying to save the community,” said Lee. “It’s frustrating. It’s kind of saddening and it just makes you wonder what these people are thinking.”
Earlier this week, a fire commander working the CZU Lightning Complex fires in Santa Cruz County had his wallet and other personal items stolen out of his truck parked at the Bonny Doon Fire Station.
The thief drained his bank account and was caught on camera using one of the firefighter’s stolen credit cards at a gas station and supermarket in Capitola.
The Woodward Fire is almost at 4,000 acres and still only 5% contained. Changes in the wind and limited resources led to fire jumping containment lines overnight.
Areas south of Inverness Park were placed under evacuation orders and warnings were issued for an area along Highway 1 stretching from Olema to Lagunitas Creek.