California Highway Patrol Lt. Denis Ford said Saturday that the thief broke into a marked fire department pickup truck from one of the numerous agencies fighting the fire that devastated the Sierra Nevada foothills town of Paradise this week. He stole items including the uniform shirt marked with the firefighter’s last name Saturday.
The thief then wore the uniform shirt as he tried to talk a Chico hotel clerk into letting him into the firefighter’s room, using the last name. But Ford said the clerk grew suspicious in part because he couldn’t fully identify himself and he fled without being arrested.
California wildfires – live: Death toll climbs to 50 as strong winds bring new blazes near Los Angeles
Forensic teams with cadaver dogs spent the day combing through ash and charred debris in what was let of the town of Paradise, around 175 miles (280km) north of San Francisco. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said 100 National Guard troops were being sent in at his request to assist in the search for additional human remains left by the so-called Camp Fire.
The intensified effort to locate victims comes on the sixth day of a blaze that has incinerated more than 8,800 homes and other buildings, including most of Paradise, a town once home to 27,000 people that was largely erased hours after the fire began last Thursday. More than 50,000 local residents remained under evacuation orders.
h/t LEVEL 110