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Stolen firefighting trailer found destroyed

A cargo trailer full of firefighting equipment that was stolen last month during the Milepost 97 fire has been found destroyed, fire officials reported.

The trailer, which belonged to the Douglas Forest Protective Association, was found Tuesday in a remote area of Josephine County off a forest road at the bottom of a cliff.

The trailer, which stored hoses, fittings, nozzles, tanks, hand tools, drinking water and ready-to-eat meals had been parked off Interstate 5 and was reported stolen July 27.

“They’re used during that initial attack phase when fires are relatively smaller in size,” said Douglas Forest Protective Association spokesman Kyle Reed. “To get that extra equipment out there, so we have more than what we have that’s just on our engines that are responding.”

Douglas Forest Protective Association officials are working to determining the value of the stolen property. The trailer had been granted to the agency through the Federal Excess Personal Property Program, used by fire agencies to get equipment that is no longer needed.

“Most of the property originally belonged to the Department of Defense,” a brief description on the U.S. Forest Service website said. “Once acquired by the Forest Service, it is then loaned to the state forester, who may then place it with local departments to improve local fire programs.”

Though destroyed, Reed said he’s glad the equipment was located.

“It closes that door. That’s kind of nice at least. We’re not expending resources looking for it any longer,” Reed said.

No suspects have been identified. Anyone with information is asked to contact Oregon State Police.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4468.