A rural fire brigade in Hawke's Bay has been ransacked, with volunteers now praying a big fire does not happen.
The brigade lost equipment and all its fuel.
If a fire does happen, there will be no fuel tank for the pump, or any fuel for the fuel tank, as the alleged "lowlifes" took it all.
The Rissington Voluntary Rural Fire Force, on Puketitiri Rd, is made up of 12 volunteers and for the first time in 25 years they were the victim of theft.
Gordon Foster, deputy principal rural fire officer, said he didn't know exactly when the theft happened.
"But it was in the last week and the volunteers realised when they went out for a job, a vegetation fire", Foster said.
"They couldn't use the portable pump because they [the alleged thieves] had stolen all the fuel from it.
"Thankfully they had a tanker for the fire but if the fuel had run out they wouldn't have been able to control it."
The thieves took hand-held radios, the generator, fuel and the fuel tank for the pump.
He said the theft amounted to about $20,000 of gear, but it was all insured.
"What lowlife would do that?
"I just want to ask them to bring the stuff back, bring back the radios. They are no use to anyone."
In the interim, Foster hoped that the brigade would get some spare equipment and it would be increasing safety measures.
Police are investigating the burglary.
A spokeswoman said that police received the report of a burglary at the address on Puketitiri Rd at 10.52pm yesterday. Inquiries continue.