Residents from three homes reported burglaries, and there were two online reports of area property theft in evacuation zones for the Nakia Creek Fire.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office patrolled the closure areas around the fire when evacuation warnings grew rapidly Oct. 16, until notices were lifted Oct. 21.
During that time, deputies made four arrests: two on suspicion of residential burglary and theft, one for an outstanding district court warrant and one for a previous investigation into theft of a motor vehicle, according to a sheriff’s office news release.
“As homes were evacuated, CCSO’s efforts turned toward protecting the properties and residences within the evacuation zones,” the news release states. “Unfortunately, from watching other natural disaster events across the nation, we knew that evacuated areas would become targets for those individuals looking to take advantage of this unfortunate event by burglarizing and stealing items from vacant residences.”
Thirty-one deputies and two commanders volunteered for a total of 500 hours patrolling the area and denying access past road closures, the agency said.
“We were humbled by the support shown to CCSO by area residents,” the agency said in the news release. “We want to thank the firefighters, DNR and Oregon Department of Forestry for all their efforts to help get the fire under control and allow residents to return to their homes.”