Thieves broke into a remote fire station in the Angeles National Forest and stole some $40,000 worth of essential firefighting equipment this week, authorities said Friday.
The burglars took more than 30 chainsaws, four generators and other equipment from locked storage bins at the U.S. Forest Service's Texas Canyon Station, northeast of Santa Clarita.
"It's a big loss to our firefighters that are out there," said Nathan Judy, fire information officer for the Angeles National Forest. "This isn't just spare equipment."
The items, which are used to create fire breaks during large blazes and to maintain campgrounds and trails, were discovered stolen on Tuesday morning, Judy said.
A chain-link fence was cut and multiple containers that held equipment were broken into, he said. An arc welder and a variety of hand tools were also stolen.
It's the only burglary Judy said he can recall in 16 years with the Angeles National Forest.
No suspects have been identified in the crime, which is being investigated by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Santa Clarita station and Forest Service law enforcement.
The station houses five firefighters on its engine crew, plus 20 hotshots, Judy said. Some of the equipment belonged to the Fuego Techs, a crew of student firefighters from East Los Angeles.
Several firefighters were on the large complex when the burglary occurred, but they did not hear anything suspicious, he said.
The agency still has enough equipment to fight fires effectively in that area. The cost of replacing the equipment will come from the local budget of the Angeles National Forest, he added.
The station is at 31250 Bouquet Canyon Road (map).