Two thieves who looted an Oregon lookout station knocked part of an early fire detection network offline, officials say.
The men, at least one of whom was caught on camera, stole batteries and solar panels from the station near Prospect in southern Oregon, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
“With these items stolen, the camera is no longer operational, leaving a hole in the camera network and taking away the opportunity for early fire detection,” the release said.
The network helps catch fires while they are still small, providing crucial information to firefighters and allowing officials to strategically deploy resources, deputies said.
The theft took place about 12:45 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, the release said.
The Oregon Department of Forestry is working to get the camera back up and running as quickly as possible.
“Not cool,” wrote the department in a Twitter post about the thefts.
Prospect is a community along the Rogue River about 30 miles southwest of Crater Lake National Park.