ROCKLIN, Calif. - Twenty firefighters working on a fire in east Placer County were unable to report to work Friday after thieves made off with $6,000 worth of firefighting equipment, officials said.
Five California Department of Forestry fire engines were burglarized while parked at a Rocklin motel where the firefighters were staying, said Tina Rose, an information officer for the Nevada-Yuba-Placer Ranger District.
''When the firefighters woke up and discovered that they had no fire protection clothing or equipment, they couldn't report to work,'' Rose said.
Safety clothing, helmets, gloves, fire hose nozzles and other equipment were recovered by Rocklin police officers later that morning, Rose said. Two people were arrested, but police did not release their names.
''It's like stealing from an ambulance. What are you going to do with fire protection gear? You're putting your community at risk. That's 20 firefighters who can't work,'' she said. ''It's happened before, but it's pretty rare. Most people respect the fire department.''
The Driver fire is 95 percent contained, with fire officials predicting that the fire will be completely controlled by Saturday, Rose said.