Piercy Man Arrested For Allegedly Setting Series of Wildfires in Northern Mendocino

Fire burning near Hwy 101 in Piercy in late August.

Fire burning near Hwy 101 in Piercy in late August. [Photo by Cheryl Paup]

This is a press release from the Cal Fire Mendocino Unit. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

On Wednesday, October 3, 2018 CAL FIRE Law Enforcement Officers arrested Charles Levi Kirk, 18 of Piercy, California for arson (PC 451(c)). Kirk allegedly started several fires in the Willits, Laytonville, Leggett, and Piercy areas.

The investigation of the fires in the Leggett and Piercy areas began a month long cooperative investigation lead by CAL FIRE officers with the assistance of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department and the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office. On September 26th , a search warrant was served at Kirk’s property resulting in
the seizure of evidence. Kirk was taken into custody and ransported to the Mendocino County Jail where he will await trial. Bail is set at $150,000.

“I am very proud of our law enforcement officers, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Office for working together on this case”, said CAL FIRE MEU Unit Chief George Gonzalez. “Our communities are much safer after
this arrest”.

As fire danger remains high across California, wildfires pose a major threat to life, property and our state’s natural resources. CAL FIRE urges the public to be vigilant in their preparedness and aware of suspicious activity when a fire does start. If you witness suspicious activity, the following steps should be followed:
 Do not approach the individual or individuals engaging in the suspicious behavior
 If safe to do so, note the description of the individual(s) including:
o Location
o Gender
o Height
o Weight
o Clothing description
o Hair color
o Any distinguishing characteristics such as tattoos
 If a vehicle is involved in the suspicious activity, the following information can be
helpful to investigators:
Mendocino Unit
CAL FIRE NEWS RELEASE
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
o Make and model of vehicle
o Color of vehicle
o Location and direction of travel
o License plate number – even a partial number can be useful
o Bumper stickers or other markings
o Number of occupants, including their description(s)
 Note the time the suspicious individual and/or vehicle were observed. This can be one of the most important pieces of information to investigatiors.

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61 comments

  • Is this the burgundy suv that was bolo’d up and down 101? Glad they got him. Wonder what else he did?

  • Wow that’s crazy, I cant see him doing something like that, but still a head trip

  • Isn’t his dad a fireman??

  • That doesn’t matter, Jim. It’s a volunteer position. His Dad loses money getting called away from work to fight a fire.

  • Where’s the mugshot?

  • This is really sad. He is from a great family, some of them helped form the fire department in Piercy, and have worked in firefighting.
    I hope this does not distract from the respect that the family deserves. They have helped a lot of people through the years.

    • Nothing could take my respect from the one family member I know.

    • Great family, good people. I am sorry they have to deal with this. Thanks to the UPS driver who was a good citizen and reported what he saw at Bell Sprungs road. One kid could have undone many peoples lives. The two fires in Piercy were too close for comfort..

    • The fact that it is a matter of interest that an accused arsonist is closely related to fire fighters does not mean that that his family is being blamed. At least by the general non-troll population. Trolls of course make something out of nothing in order to create reactions. But that doesn’t apply to the less neurotic.

      I’m grateful for those among us with the drive to help others and I hope his family can let the troll spit not bother them. They have a lot to deal with right now.

    • Well said Ernie!

    • It’s people like you, Ernie, that restores my faith in humanity. Well said.

    • Another bi product of legal marihuana. Lifes are changed and young ones are left without any direction to go except down.

  • Oh this is very good news. I’m sorry for his family having to deal with his actions…thankful no lives were lost at these fires.

  • The mugshot . . .

    • In today’s society this kid just ruined his whole life. You can tell your children the difference between right and wrong, but they insist on learning the hard way. There is nowhere that he can escape this rap. I can’t even imagine what his future will be.

      How do you convey to a kid how important it is to stay out of legal trouble. My dad sat me down one day and lectured me on why not to fight the law. He said, “it doesn’t make any difference whether the law is right or wrong, you can’t fight it, you will lose. Don’t EVER give them a handle on your life”. Levi just gave the law a lifetime handle on him.

      • And rightfully so if found guilty. There is a big difference between say going out and partying too much or sleeping around or even shoplifting or vandalism as a kid, as opposed to intentionally starting wildfires in the middle of summer putting many lives in danger. He should carry a stigma with him for the rest of his life! He should also received some very harsh punishment. The mountain I live on is in the area where he started three of his fires, and if it wasn’t put out by a UPS driver and the local Volunteer Fire Department, there’s a good chance my home would have burned down.

      • Amen on whether the law is right or wrong…please welcome drunken sexual assaulters to the Supreme Court. It’s the LAW.

        • If you can submit any evidence at all verifying your claim and present it to the Congress of the United States, I would expect he would not be appointed to the Supreme Court. After 7 FBI investigations into his background they have found no evidence supporting the allegations.

          • he was pre-approved just like Mitch said before there was any talk of an investigation. these white heads are ending the future of the GOP. 90 million generation Z will be voting in November. do the math or go to wiki, its the largest generation ever. combine that with 70 million millennials and what do you get.

            • They did background checks, then they did hearings and investigations.
              Innocent until p r o v e n guilty still stands. Praise God!

              • Shocked, I Tell You, Shocked

                Or in Hillary Clinton’s case, proven guilty of offenses in office means nothing much. In Bill Clinton’s case it meant that the victims paid the price.

                One of the troubles with the Democrats is that they just can’t believe that they could lose an election without fraud. Could never have their fault- oh no…They intend to spend every dollar of other people’s money they can on endless investigating until they come up with something. Until then they will act melodramatically outraged over what they can not prove and which they never bother to worry about in their own membership. Like many liberals here.

                Never ending investigations are the ticket. “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”- W. C. Fields

                • Lost Croat Outburst

                  You mean like Republican Trey Gowdy who dragged Hillary through 2 1/2 years of marathon investigations over the Benghazzi tragedy for political gain? Like that? Then he whined and moaned because the Trump-Russian investigation was too long? Like that?

                  America’s enemies salute Donald J. Trump. From the bottom of the Red Sea, Osama bin Laden salutes you and Fox News. Stay proud.

                  How come nobody asked Kavanaugh how Constitutional it was to deny even a hearing on Merrick Garland with eleven months to go in the Obama presidency?

                • Oh spare me. People died, the Obama administration- Hillary Clinton especially- lied about, instead blaming some obscure video maker for outraging Muslims. Having lied about what they did as officials to the public, the UN and the Congress, of course it raised suspicions about what their actual involvement was. That what they did was to expose and then leave one of their own to die rather than offend people who hate and used them and exposed themselves as incompetent was not chargeable as a crime did not mean it was not disreputable. The lying was chargeable and only the fact that Congress, under the delusion that something important was at risk let it slide, saved them. Sort of a whole different level of crime when, like Bill and Hillary Clinton, an official behaves in an ugly way WHILE IN OFFICE than while not in office. Partisanship does not extend to malfeasance. Or shouldn’t in people who should discern the difference.

                  And as for denying a hearing to keep a nominee out of office? What do you think the Democrats are doing right now with the added troll touch of trying to destroy a person’s life in the process. Pull up your big boy panties and notice that it is politics as usual with the same self serving agenda from both parties. Except for the Democrats adding their usual touch of self admiration for their self ascribed virtue. They don’t wait for an incident but try manufacturing them out of nothing. It is apparently an endless occupation with them and their supporters, surviving failure after failure without learning a thing from it.

                • Whaaaat? Trey’s role was to seek the answers to the questions. It was the role of the FBI and the DOJ to decide what to do about those answers.
                  Where are they today? Didn’t they get fired or resigned?
                  Where is that same DOJ today? Who is the DOJ now? Who is charge of the FBI today?
                  For what it’s worth, there was never an innocent or a guilty plea plead. Let that sink in for a moment.

              • Dump Kavanaugh, America deserves better. #i like beer.

                • Possibly but like most everything else in public life at the moment, better is too disgusted with the level of incivility, pettiness and venom so will not play with you anymore. #youearnedit

            • You are right. but by most accounts Generation Z is more conservative than millennials. But only time will tell.

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        In today’s society? If guilty, what would happen in yesterday’s society? Discount coupons and key-to-the-city? Aren’t you local as in Branscomb Road and stuff? You think arson is a joke? There are plenty of fire victims you could talk to.

        • Dear Lost (and confused)
          I was a firefighter for 39 years. I know the seriousness of fire better than most. If the kid is guilty he deserves to be put away, what the hell makes you think I was making a Joke?

          In days past you could just change your name and become a folk hero, like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

          I still think that it is tragic for the family.

  • Wonder when the ’causes’ of the Ranch and River fires
    (Lake County) are ‘released’… or will remain ‘unknown’.

  • Not the first time a son has done this. There have also been mothers and even firefighters who have started fires. He just needs some help.

  • Sending all the love and big hugs to the Kirk family during this tough time.

  • I’m in shock! Breaks my heart! Levi’s a good kid! I want to send condolences to his family and friends and hopefully he gets the help he needs. First and foremost – a fair trial!

  • I can’t wrap my head around this either. He has always been a nice boy and his family is a strong pillar in the community. The family is and always will be held in high regard in my eyes, unfortunately, Levi is very troubled, I doubt anyone saw that. Prison will not help his psychological state and sentences for arsonists are heavy. Poor kid has ruined his life and severely put lives and his community at risk. My thoughts and love are with the family.

  • Read about John Orr and the book “Points of Origin”. Mr. Orr had this guy beat 7 ways from Sunday. Then again, he was a highly trained and qualified pro and this guy is a rank amateur.

  • Very low bail for serial arson charges.

  • How are we supposed to know someones gender? It should say “sex” not “gender”.

    • Wait–seriously–which is which again? I gather that one of the terms means biological markers you were born with, and the other, which social role you like to take on. I thought sex was the first one (biological) and gender the social choice.

      So (if this is correct), wouldn’t “gender” be what you could observe, not “sex”? If you saw a suspicious person near a crime site, you would only be able to report observed attributes such as clothing and accessories, hairstyle, facial hair, etc. Unless you’ve got superpowers to do instant DNA testing… right?

      Please do set me (and many others, i imagine) straight on this.

      • Laura
        I have a friend who had leukemia, he had a bone marrow transplant from his sister. His DNA was completely changed to that of his sister he now has female blood. His new motto is “Why not me too”. Needles to say he has a great sense of humor about it. Maybe we take life and gender a little too seriously.

        • Hear, hear Ernie! I say, be whatever you feel. The old roles are kind of unnecessary now that our main goal isn’t populating the Earth, and there will always be plenty of people eager to fill them anyway: the manly man and the sexy woman, etc.
          It’s the words i take seriously, because people get upset if you use the wrong one. So i still wonder which to use regarding what people want to identify as… so as not to upset anyone. Gotta learn the lingo.

  • WTF 150k bail? That’s ridiculous!! I’ve seen higher bails for very pretty crimes. This guy is in the same league as murderers and rapists.. should be 1 million minimum!!!

  • Like the other commentators, I hope and pray he receives the help he needs and that his family and friends find peace through this incredibly awful onslaught of emotional turmoil.

  • I hope he has his day in court and it is proven he did this- I would like to share the terror in the mind of our neighbor who came running down the road when our ridge was set afire intentionally. She was out of breath and out of her mind. He threatened our community our neighbors and our home and the lives of the first responders. He needs help. But sympathy I really have none.

  • very scary. I am so glad he might be held responsible. Fire is so devastating. Whatever is wrong in this boys head I hope and pray he gets his spirit together.

  • What kind of Satanic bitch starts a wildfire on purpose? Gotta go to the Thunderdome on LCO to state what the punishment should be. Respect to Kym for not allowing this site to degrade into brutal debauchery and hate.

  • Righteous indignation. Blame blame blame. Like chickens surrounding and attacking the strangely sick one:

    “It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society”

    Blame dad, blame school, blame dopamine, blame G-D, blame my kids mother… Whatever gets you through your life. Let’s just do ANYTHING but have an adult conversation on how we can leave a better situation for the next seven generations.

    School shooters, outlandish obesity, criminal banking syndicates, alcoholism/ addiction, endless war, arsonists, abject poverty = let’s not never look to our values, just another double negative.

    The rest of the world is taking notice, with many countries passing us and Cheetoh Jesus over here up. The comments on bail do not understand/ take into account the problems endemic with a cash bail system.
    Lot’s of love to the family, all of em. To you ALL. It’s a sad story, but far from nothing new.

    “When the game is lost we’re all the same, no one left to take or place the blame.”

  • You all seem so certain ; all that I know is that a suspect has been arrested. There has been no trial, conviction or acquittal, sentencing, imprisonment, or rehabilitation. With all that in mind, isn’t Unit Chief George Gonzalez a bit premature when he says that all our communities are “much safer after this arrest.” ?

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