Thieves Target Portland Firefighter

PORTLAND, Ore.  — It’s a bitter disappointment for a Portland man who spent months fighting wildfires.  Now he’s hoping someone knows who stole his van and important tools.

Since April, Jason Starkey has been fighting wildfires in Arizona and New Mexico.  It’s tough work.

“We’re usually working side by side with a hotshot crew or attacking it ourselves if there are no hotshots on the line,” Starkey explained.  “We cut what they call a fire line ahead of the fire, which is removing the fuel from it so when it comes it has nothing to eat, and it starves out before it can jump to the buffet which is the uncut forest.”

He’d just got back to Portland and parked his van outside his apartment building.  The next day, the van was gone and with it camping and firefighting equipment including his boots.

He estimates he’s lost about $10,000 and is most worried about the van telling news partner KGW his message for the thieves.  “Please don’t destroy my car.  That’s the hardest thing to replace.  I hope whatever situation you’re in, that my top-of-the-line camping gear makes your life more comfortable, and you use that opportunity to better yourself.”

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