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The Wolf Mountain Lookout Tower, which sits on top of Wolf Mountain just south of Grass Valley, has been damaged by vandals many times. The tower’s central location in western Nevada County makes it an excellent resource in locating fires throughout the foothills in the area, but it also makes it an easy target for vandals.
Over the past weekend, the fence surrounding property was cut, the tower broken into, windows and doors broken and wiring and other items damaged beyond repair. Many items will require replacement and the tower will be unusable until some of the necessary repairs are completed, just as the northern California is in the middle of a record setting heat wave.
The tower is staffed completely by volunteers. They donate their time assisting the local, state and federal fire agencies in spotting all types of fires, such as vehicle or structure fires, not just wildland fires. The volunteer’s dedication to the job makes it just that much more difficult to understand why someone would want to damage or destroy the tower and the tools they use to help their community.
Brad Harris, Chief of CAL FIRE’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit, in a written statement about the incident said “This destruction of state property will not be tolerated,” said “anyone who is caught will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
In California, defacement, damage, or destruction of real property (vandalism) is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison or in a county jail up to one year or a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000). It could also result in a felony conviction on a person’s record.
Anyone with information regarding the vandalism of the Wolf Mountain Lookout Tower is asked to contact the CAL FIRE Nevada-Yuba-Placer Prevention Bureau at (530) 889-0111 extension 120.