The Wolf Mountain Lookout Tower, which sits on top of Wolf Mountain just south of Grass Valley, was damaged by vandals over the weekend, resulting in thousands of dollars in damage.
The tower has been vandalized many times, said Cal Fire spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff. 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 the property was cut, the tower broken into, windows and doors broken and wiring and other items damaged beyond repair, Tolmachoff said in a press release.
“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,” she said.
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 volunteers’ 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,” Tolmachoff said.
“This destruction of state property will not be tolerated,” said Brad Harris, chief of Cal Fire’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit. “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 $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 Cal Fire at 530-889-0111, ext. 120.