At least a dozen homeowners who were forced to evacuate during a destructive California wildfire returned home to discover that their homes had been looted while they were away.
Six people were arrested on suspicion of burglary or planning to loot homes in Lake County following the wildfire that started on September 12, killing four people and destroying 1,300 homes. Fourteen homeowners reported looted homes in Lake County and there may be more.
One thief went so far as to spray-paint a car in the house he was burglarizing so it would look like a police vehicle, making it easier to escape.
Several San Francisco Bay Area police departments patrolled the evacuated neighborhoods, but were not able to prevent all the burglaries. The fire covered 118 square miles. Many of the homes were located on small feeder roads that are not on maps, but are familiar to local residents.
As of early October, the wildfire has been 97 percent contained. Over 2,100 insurance claims have been filed following the fire, according to Madison Voss with the California Department of Insurance. In addition, residents and business owners who lost property during the recent wildfire in Amador and Calaveras counties have filed almost 1,100 fires. That fire, which covered approximately 111 square miles, started on September 9 and is now 100 percent contained. During the fire, two men were killed and almost 500 homes were destroyed.
Governor Jerry Brown has issued an executive order to assist displaced residents by expediting emergency housing for those who need it. The order waives zoning restrictions, enabling people to move temporarily into mobile or manufactured homes.
See the original story on the California wildfires: http://thedailyvoicenews.com/2015/09/13/northern-california-fires-state-of-emergency-declared-while-thousands-flee/
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