A man accused of starting the Clayton Fire has been arrested by the police.
Forty-year-old Damin Pashilk, former inmate firefighter suspected of being a serial arsonist, was taken into custody on August 16.
The fire has blazed through a massive area. As reported by NBC Bay Area, it has engulfed 4,000 acres and damaged 175 structures. An additional 1,500 structures remain at risk of damage.
Pashilk, who worked as an inmate firefighter during his five-year prison sentence for drugs and weapons convictions, has in excess of 20 times on his arrest record in northern California. In Lake County, he has been arrested 12 times since 2005.
Believed to be a serial arsonist, Pashilk is suspected of setting as many as 17 fires.
According to Lake County Magazine, in 2013 the house where he and his then girlfriend Kesley Saunder lived was burned down. A sum of $1,200 contributed by members of the community was raised through a GoFundMe page. The couple was residing at the Youth Center, Clearlake, at the time.
Pashilk has been under investigation for more than a year. He worked as a construction worker and done odd jobs.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Pashilk is facing 17 counts of arson for his involvement in setting the Clayton Fire in Lake County and other fires. He is being held at the Lake County Jail on a $5 million bail.
Dry brush and dying trees have caused fires in several areas in the state, including San Diego, Monterey, Kern, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo counties. However, authorities are concerned the damage is far from over. The traditional fire season, which brings along Santa Ana winds, is expected to occur in the fall.
— Dan Noyes (@dannoyes) August 16, 2016
— Joe Khalil (@JoeKhalil_Media) August 16, 2016