BELMONT — For a reason no one can fathom, someone stole the changeable signs that get posted in front of the fire station to report the fire danger on any particular day.
Lt. Ryan Brown said the signs were all stored inside the Smokey Bear sign at the end of the BFD driveway. Each day the danger of forest fires is rated from low to extreme.
He said one went missing about two days ago and the rest of them disappeared Thursday night into Friday morning, sometime after 11:30 p.m. and before 6:15 a.m.
Brown said each rating had two signs — meaning two that say "low", two that say "medium" all the way up through "extreme". All totaled, there are 10 individual sign pieces.
At first, he said, he and the other supervisors thought it was a pranks pulled on them by one of the call firefighters or members of the duty crew.
"We interviewed the usual pranksters," he said, noting that none of them knew anything about the thefts.
He said the Belmont Police have been notified but all the fire department really wants is to get their signs returned.
Brown said the signs must be ordered through the N.H. Division of Forestry and are made especially for the state for redistribution to individual fire departments.
"All Smokey want is to inform people about the fire danger," Brown said.
He is also asking that if any parents see any of the signs in their childrens' rooms to return them to the department.
"That's really all we want," he said.
CAPTION: Smokey Bear in Belmont is missing his warning signs. The message board on the left is asking for them to be returned so Smokey can continue his warnings. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)
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