Looting has been reported in neighborhoods ravaged by an out-of-control fire moving through Northern California that has killed five people, including a woman and her two great-grandchildren.
Redding Police Chief Roger Moore says there has been “a lot” of looting throughout the area. He said the department has gotten reports of people driving around evacuated areas and attempting to break through the doors of homes still standing.
Several suspects have been identified and one man, who was on parole, was arrested and would be charged with a felony.
And in Southern California, a Simi Valley woman was arrested for deliberately setting a fire that burned a hillside in the unincorporated area of the town.
The Ventura County Fire Department received a call of a brush fire in the 4100 block of Tapo Canyon Road. Firefighters arrived within minutes and were able to quickly contain the fire before it grew out of control. In the end, the fire burned almost 10 acres of hillside before it was extinguished.
While on scene, firefighters learned that a citizen had detained a female who was possibly responsible for starting the fire. Patrol deputies from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, along with investigators from the Fire Department’s Arson Unit and the Sheriff’s Bomb/Arson Unit, responded to conduct additional investigation.
The investigators determined that Alexandra Gindlesberger had deliberately started the fire along the roadside. The fire then spread to the adjacent hillside.
Gindlesberger was arrested for one felony count of arson and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. She was booked into the Pre-Trial Detention Facility on $50,000.00 bail and she is scheduled to appear in Ventura County Superior Court on August 3, 2018.
Meantime, firefighters throughout the state are bracing for strengthening winds forecast this weekend that threaten to fan the flames of multiple Northern California wildfires, including the deadly Carr fire.
As of Thursday, there were 18 wildfires burning across the state. Although a number of them had scorched less than 100 acres, those smaller fires are contributing to the drain on critical resources, especially as firefighters from around the state and nation are being called to battle the big blazes.