Authorities investigating spike in fire hydrant thefts ahead of wildfire season

Hundreds of fire hydrants have been stolen since the start of the year.

California's wildfire season typically lasts from April to October, peaking in June and July.

This year, as the season starts to ramp up, officials in Los Angeles are dealing with an unexpected threat to public safety: A recent rash of fire hydrant thefts.

According to the Arizona Daily Sun the Los Angeles Sherriff's Department is investigation 99 fire hydrants that have been stolen since the start of the year.

Between January 2023 and June 2024, Golden State Water Co. (GWSC), the company that owns the hydrants, reported 302 stolen hydrants in the south side of Los Angeles County.

Other pieces of city infrastructure, including street lamps and electric vehicle charging stations, have also been stolen, likely to be sold as scrap metal.

GWSC told ABC7 that it would replace the hydrants and install the locks. It will also remind local scrap yards that accepting city fire hydrants is a federal offense.

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2023 a notable year for wildfires

The 2023 California wildfire season saw multiple large fires across the state, including Smith River Complex in Del Norte County, which burned over 95,000 acres, and the SRF Lightning Complex in Humboldt County, which destroyed more than 50,000 acres.

Header image: File photo/Canva.