Portland firefighter has gear stolen after helping fight blazes in NM, AZ

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 10:04 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) – Many firefighters in Oregon are often times deployed to help fight fires across the country. Jason Starkey is one of them and has been doing this for 19 years.

“I’ve been as far as Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, during their big historic fire about three years ago, four years ago,” he said.

Starkey just returned home to Portland after fighting fires in both New Mexico and Arizona. However, he wasn’t expecting to have his van and all of his fire gear stolen from right outside of his home.

“When I went to go unload this morning at about 7:00 a.m. my van was gone with all of what was left of my fire gear and all my camping gear,” he said.

Starkey said he’ll likely have to replace it all himself and it’s worth about $7,000.

“Part of it, my nomex fire pants, what we essentially call the greens are about 350 dollars a piece. Those were issued to me from my company so now I owe my company 700 dollars,” he said. “Most of it ‘s professional all-weather camping gear to survive 115 degree days in Arizona, 20 degree nights in Wyoming, the winds that we go through like 50-mile-an-hour winds. I have a very heavy duty black-out tent for all those things.”

Until he can replace his gear and his van, he can’t fight fires.

“I try and be of service and it makes it really frustrating to try and have a big heart when people take and you already don’t have much,” he said.

Starkey did file a police report with the Portland Police Bureau.