Northern California man charged with starting devastating Clayton Fire

A car and house destroyed by the Clayton Fire.
(Image credit: Gabrielle Lurie/AFP/Getty Images)

A 40-year-old man from Clearlake, California, has been arrested on suspicion of starting several fires in Lake County, including the 4,000 acre Clayton Fire that has destroyed 175 buildings and is only 5 percent contained.

Damin Anthony Pashilk was arrested on 17 counts of arson, authorities announced Monday; Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin and Cal Fire Chief Ken Plimott told fire evacuees at a Red Cross shelter in person about Pashilk's arrest, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Clayton Fire was started on Saturday about 100 miles north of San Francisco, and thousands of people have been displaced. The fire roared through Lower Lake, a community of 1,300 people, destroying a winery, real estate office, auto shop, and entire blocks of homes.

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