(Originally published at 8:55 p.m. PDT August 15, 2016. Updated at 7:46 a.m. PDT August 16 with a list of charges against him and an updated mug shot.)
A man has been arrested for starting the Clayton Fire and numerous others.
Below is an excerpt from an article in The San Francisco Chronicle:
County officials arrested a 40-year-old Clear Lake man Monday on 17 counts of arson related to numerous fires set over the last year, including the 4,000-acre Clayton Fire that has so far claimed 175 buildings and displaced hundreds of people.
Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin and Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott announced the arrest of Damin Pashilk at a community meeting packed with evacuees at a casino doubling as a Red Cross shelter south of the blaze. Residents gasped at the announcement.
Chief Pimlott said Mr. Pashilk had been under investigation for about a year. The charges were enhanced because homes and businesses were destroyed. He has been arrested at least a dozen times before mostly for parole violations, but also on drug and weapons charges.
He was arrested at 4:30 p.m. on August 15 and booked into jail at 12:58 am. August 16. For now he has been charged with:
- Arson: structure/forest land
- Arson sentence enhancement
- Aggravated arson with prior
The sentence enhancement is applicable if homes or businesses were destroyed.
Brian Hickey of KCRA News reports that “aggravated arson with prior” means he has been convicted of arson in the last 10 years.
Bail has been set at $5 million.
The Clayton Fire started Saturday evening and around mid-day on Sunday changed direction after the wind shifted and spread quickly into Lower Lake, California.