Looters Present New Problem for WA Wildfire Victims
The Carlton Complex fire has made national news on Fox, and other networks. Now, after the blazes are being brought in check, a new issue is surfacing for those whose homes were evacuated or burned.
Northwest Cable News is reporting numerous citizens and other witnesses in Okanogan County have heard reports or even seen looters rummaging through evacuated homes. According to authorities, at least 4-5 reports have come in of generators, ATV's, gas supplies and other items taken from homes and businesses.
One occupant, Brian Varrelman, owns the Whistlin' Pines Ranch on Alta Lake. He, unlike most homeowners, didn't evacuate, but instead stayed and fought the fires with several other neighbors. He was able to save his buildings as well as a few others in the area, but now there's no power due to lines being incinerated.
Varrelman is one of several who've witnessed at least one incident where people were seen running from a building after looting. He says he has a .44 revolver, and in a video clip on Northwest Cable News, issued a chilling warning to anyone who tries to intrude on his (or his neighbors) property with any thoughts of looting.
Authorities have not said if they have any leads on who's doing the looting. Most residents believe they are from out of the area, because most of the rural citizens know each other and wouldn't do such a thing to their neighbors. One resident says they think the looters got the idea from watching news reports of evacuations, and decided all these "empty" homes (even some burned) were prime targets.