Idaho News

Firefighters’ equipment stolen on way home from California wildfires, Idaho cops say

Police in Idaho are asking for help figuring out who stole roughly $1,500 in equipment from a Montana fire crew passing through the state on the way home from fighting California wildfires.

Three people from the Park County Rural Fire Department in Livingston, Montana, had traveled to California to help battle blazes in the state, KTVQ reports.

But when the crew stopped in Idaho Falls on Sunday — spending the night at a local Super 8 motel — the equipment was stolen from their vehicle sometime between 11 p.m. and 6:30 a.m., the Idaho Falls Police Department said in a Facebook post Monday.

“We have had to remove ourselves as available national emergency resources, now that we are missing our life safety gear,” firefighter Cheyenne Bray said, according to police. “Which means no more trips to help in the California wildfires until we replace our bags and fire shelters.”

Idaho Falls police said that although “crime does happen here, we all know that this is not an accurate reflection of our city. Help us recover this equipment and find the person responsible.”

The equipment that was taken included a Yeti cooler, fire line bags, radios, first aid kids and more, police said.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Bray wrote that the crew was also missing a Krestrel weather meter, a hammock rain fly, a full tote of AA batteries and many other miscellaneous camping gear/items.”

Authorities asked people to alert police if anything like that shows up for sale.

Bray’s post asking for help recovering their gear has been shared roughly 2,000 times as of Tuesday.

“It doesn’t only hurt us, our department, but it hurts everybody else,” said Wyatt Adler, engine boss and truck commander of the fire department, according to KTVQ. “If we would have gotten to California and this stuff was missing down there, there’s no way we would have been allowed on the fire.”

The Montana crew helped out in California for a week before heading back home, EastIdahoNews reports.

“If anyone has any information about the theft or the stolen items, please contact the Idaho Falls Police Department at (208) 529-1200,” police said. “You can also contact Crime Stoppers at (208)522-1983 or if you wish to remain anonymous or are interested in a cash reward.”

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.