California Wildfires: Officials Investigating Reports of ‘Fake Firefighters’ Amid Looting Fears

SOMIS, CA - NOVEMBER 01: A firefighter stands watch at an avocado farm as the Maria Fire explodes to 8,000 acres on its first night on November 1, 2019 near Somis, California. Southern California has been hit by a series of dangerous, fast-moving wildfires this week as Santa Ana Winds …
David McNew/Getty

Northern California law enforcement is reportedly investigating reports of “fake firefighters” looking to loot homes and businesses in Sonoma County as wildfires continue to burn.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office told reporters it has around 300 officers patrolling the area and warned them to keep their eyes peeled for the possible “fake firefighters.”

“We did get a report yesterday of possibly some fake firefighters out there, wanting to do some looting,” Kincade Fire. Sgt. Shawn Murphy told firefighters during a briefing.

‘You guys don’t want that, you don’t want a couple of idiots to ruin your outstanding reputation, so if you see them please report them to us. Check their credentials. Let’s get them out of there,’ Murphy added.

Thus far, no suspects impersonating firefighters have been identified by law enforcement.

Three reports of looting have been reported, though no arrests were made

“They’re taking advantage knowing that first responders, police, everyone is so busy. It’s very disheartening,” said Santa Rosa resident Jennie Cormie.

“That’s the most terrible thing I’ve ever heard,” added Healdsburg resident Shaun Brewer. “Anybody pretending to do that, that’s just total fraud.”

The Kincade blaze, which began on October 23rd, has burned 76,825 acres of land. The fire has destroyed 282 structures and is only 60% contained, according to Cal Fire.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.