Cal Fire fighters are putting their lives at great risk as they battle the raging fires across California, which have burned through hundreds and thousands of acres of land. The wildfires have caused people to leave their homes as evacuation orders are in place. The California fires are so massive that they can even be seen from space and the air quality has reached the level of "hazardous."
Cal Fire department is working day and night to control the wildfire, but have little luck in doing so as more than 500,000 acres of land is burned. There have also been more than 11,000 lightning strikes in the last few days.
Despite all this, the firefighters are putting themselves in harm's way to get people to safety. But that hasn't stopped looters from taking advantage of the very heroes trying to protect them. In an unfortunate incident over the weekend, one of the Santa Cruz Fire Ground Commanders was robbed while he was battling the raging wildfire in Santa Cruz.
Firefighter robbed amid wildfire
The shocking incident of robbery took place while Santa Cruz Fire Ground Commander was helping battle fires raging in the area. When he returned to his work vehicle, he found his wallet was missing and bank account was drained, KRON 4 reported.
A Cal Fire official confirmed the incident during a press briefing on Sunday. "It's unfortunate and sickening that one of our Fire Ground Commanders in that area, while out taking care of business and directing firefighting crews, somebody entered his department vehicle and stole his wallet and drained his bank account," he was quoted as saying.
He further expressed angst over the issue: "So that's the extent that these people have gone. Again, this is why we have asked for people to evacuate. The sheriff's department has done a fantastic job in trying to wrangle this. But again, this is what we have as a result. It's saddening, it's sickening, and we are doing everything we can do try to help the community and unfortunately, these happen."
Fake GoFundMe account
In wake of the incident, a fake GoFundMe account was created in the officer's name to support him. But CAL FIRE San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit warned that no such account had been setup and that the GoFundMe account was fake.
"A GoFundMe account is circulating, purporting to be established in support of the CAL FIRE employee who's personal belongings were stolen recently. This account is not associated with CAL FIRE, or anyone connected to the department. Please use caution if donating," Cal Fire CZU tweeted.
Incidents of robberies have been on the rise in the areas of where the evacuations were happening. The local Sheriff department reportedly arrested five suspects for targeting homes of evacuees, Breitbart reported.