Suspected Arsonist Arrested; Del Norte County Sheriff Gives Details on the Hunt

Firetrucks into remote location

Gasquet Fire responding along with others to several suspected arson fires on Sunday. [Photo by Gasquet Fire]

This is a press release from the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

On Saturday morning, the DNSO received a report of a fire about 1.5 miles from US HWY 199 on Siskiyou Fork Road. A deputy and fire personnel responded and confirmed that there was an active fire. Gasquet Fire and Crescent Fire responded quickly and extinguished the fire.

Upon searching the area, the responders located five more fires, two of which were active. It was noted by emergency responders that the roadway leading into the fires was purposely blocked in such a way as to prevent access. A stolen vehicle was also discovered. The vehicle was reported stolen out of the Ashland, Oregon area. A canvas of the area around the stolen vehicle resulted in another active fire being discovered up the Siskiyou Fork Drainage. As the DNSO initiated an arson investigation, Gasquet Fire requested a helicopter and Cal Fire responded.

Cal FIre helicopter

Helicopter at Saturday’s fire. [Photo by Gasquet Fire]

All active fires were put out.

The stolen vehicle was unable to be removed and after evidence was collected, it was secured and left at the scene until morning. When responders came back the next morning to remove the vehicle and further investigate a new fire was discovered in close proximity and was extinguished. With assistance from a local resident, the DNSO was also successful in removing the stolen vehicle from the area.

Forest fire

One of the suspected arson fires on Sunday. [Photo by Gasquet Fire]

On Sunday evening another fire was reported by residents on Little Jones Creek Road near Jawbone. Gasquet Fire, Crescent Fire and the US Forest Service responded and worked to suppress the growing fire. They were successful in their efforts. Responding members of the DNSO also discovered two additional fires, one of which was believed to have been started above ground level, in the upper portion of a tree.

As the arson investigation continued, DNSO was able to communicate with Ashland PD regarding the vehicle theft. Ashland PD believed they had a photo of an unknown suspect in the theft and forwarded that image to the DNSO. A BOLO was issued to local law enforcement agencies for an individual matching that description.
On Monday morning an individual matching his description was spotted near the area of Patrick’s Creek Lodge. DNSO responded quickly and was able to locate the individual, but he fled into the densely wooded area nearby. Later that day another caller reported a hitchhiker matching his description within proximity to the previous report. Assisted by the local CHP and State and National Parks, the DNSO set up a perimeter and searched the region for several hours. The individual was not located but law enforcement believed he was still in the area.
On Tuesday morning the DNSO received a report of an individual matching his description in the area of Panther Flat Campground. DNSO responded again and deployed the investigations team to establish a perimeter. The suspect was spotted fleeing into the tree line near the Smith River just below the Panther Flat campground. DNSO continued to track him for several hours and another caller reported he may be at the Gasquet Market. A local resident at the market knew him to be Michael Lindauer.Michael Lindauer In addition to now being a potential suspect in the vehicle theft out of Oregon, Lindauer was also wanted for outstanding, unrelated out-of-area warrants for vehicle theft. He is also on probation in two different California jurisdictions.

As DNSO personnel headed that way they encountered the suspect near the Gasquet Forks and pursued him. DNSO put out an alert to local residents that have subscribed to the Del Norte Community Alert System asking for help if an individual is seen matching the suspect’s description. Through the alert system, people were also advised that deputies, some of whom are in plain clothes, are searching the area. Dispatch began receiving more tips from Gasquet residents that helped guide the search. The suspect was located about 1.5 miles up North Fork towards Stoney Creek and was taken into custody.

He was booked on offenses related to false information to a law enforcement officer, vehicle theft and outstanding warrants. The DNSO investigations team also believes he is a suspect in the aforementioned arsons. It should be mentioned that he was a person of interest in another arson in recent local history. As evidence is being processed and the case continues to be worked, the DNSO remains steadfast on development of an investigation that our partners at the District Attorney’s Office can take to trial, if need be.

Sheriff Apperson said “The apprehension of this individual is a result of good old fashion cop work. The Deputies were relentless in their oath to providing public safety and I commend their efforts. They had no off switch while working extra-long shifts and traversing over some of the most treacherous terrain our wilderness has to offer. Sergeant McManus, Sergeant Schneck and Deputy Asbury acted tirelessly, and exemplary. I want to thank Gasquet Fire and all other fire responders for their rapid response as these fires could have gotten out of control if not for their level of professionalism. I also want to thank other law enforcement agencies including the CHP and State and National Parks for helping out without hesitation. Finally and probably most importantly, I want to offer my admiration to our community for people picking up the phone and helping us track this individual over the past several days.”

As of the date and time of this release, Michael Lindauer is in custody at the Del Norte County jail.

Earlier Chapter: Approximately 20 Fires Set Over the Weekend Are Suspicious, Says Gasquet Fire Chief



  • Yay. Don’t let the guy loose unless it’s in a very isolated place with plenty of townspeople surrounding him…

    Thank you Kym. I think you were the only one posting the story last night.

    & thank you all who caught the bastard.

  • Lock the creep up and throw away the key. He’ll be lucky he doesn’t get beat up in jail.

    • A Bad Dude. Lucky for most they are a small percentage of the populous. I would recommend the death penalty for such; but as it seems the country voting more progressive we will have a higher amount of the small percentage (Bad Shit) ; since the utopian society likes better worlds for themselves but they keep ignoring the peoples left out….

  • Whoa.. the guy is from South Lake Tahoe according to a story on his arrest for auto theft in Sonoma county this past spring.

    I wonder how many fires he started in Sonoma and the Sierras? He’s also been arrested for illegal CCW- evidently without a permit, maybe while on parole?

  • Like I keep saying…this is an example of where we need the death penalty. After and if he is convicted of course. There is a major problem with human overpopulation and we need to make decisions about our limited resources. Keeping him in prison for life is wasting resources that can go to innocent children. But we can’t let him out! I hope you can see the obvious logic leading to an unpleasant conclusion….Death Penalty because we love innocents and our planet, not because we hate but because we must make the hard decisions about who we have room for.

    • I go a little more along the lines of removing the stigma from abortion. Someone’s gotta talk to those impractical anti-choice Christians. Some people should NOT be having babies, and if they find themselves in “the family way,” they need to be able to avoid many ruined lives by ending it immediately. Keeping alive a fetus that will be born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, addicted to meth, or immediately a victim of abuse is no mercy at all… and a couple of decades down the road, you’ve got these maladjusted, ever-unwanted, leeching zombies.

      • Well put. And dont forget inbreeding. Theres a reason we try not to do that people!
        I hope we put this ‘person’ away forever! Please go burn yourself Michael Lindauer.

      • Too bad no one person can make decisions for others. Another human might just resent the finger pointed at them saying “You don’t have the right to have children.” Would the criteria be race? IQ? Ugly? Bad hair? Emotional dissonance? Peculiar ideas? Religion? Lack of religion? Criminal history? Shortness? Birth defects? Poverty? Pimply? Bad teeth? Who would sit on the court of human eugenics? Are you willing to starve the child of those who don’t comply? Or neuter egregiously accommodating males? Spay women?

        Look carefully at the results of China’s one child policy where boys were selected over girls to be that one child. It turned out to be not so easy a solution, even with forced abortions and public humiliations, as they thought. Better to “build more land” or invade others. Now that’s a good method of population control- war.

        The closest shot at achieving population limitation without draconian measures is in educating women, paying them well, giving easy access to birth control but ensuring financial penalties for taking time off to have and raise child. Even then you’d have the brightest women deselecting themselves from the gene pool but incompetent women still having children. A sure way to decrease the overall intelligence levels.

        Gee whiz. I guess that having liberal values while insisting on approved tyranny is harder than one might think.

        • Good points! No there is no easy solution when what you are proposing is basically… killing people! And often the “solution” ends up in the hands of ugly people who decide along racial or genetic factors. Thanks to Kym for even letting me broach the subject here and thank you all for some balance input. I do think we can make informed public policy if we accept the inconvenient reality- too many people is killing our planet! Which ugly option do we choose? Because yes- otherwise war is what ends up happening.

        • re-read the comment you are replying to..
          no one is talking about forced abortions or anything else your ignorant post is about..
          its about not shaming people or making them feel like an evil murderer just because they make the intelligent choice to not have a baby they really dont want or shouldnt have.

          • Re- read yourself. “Some people should NOT be having babies.” Yet, if that is true, it is only known because they do have babies. How do you propose to change their minds? If you think that a few protesters outside an abortion clinic are the cause of them not having abortions, then you are simply wrong. If they used drugs or alcohol, these women are already use to the shamers of the world. It is simply easier to continue not to worry about what their own behavior causes. Just as they do now. Forethought is not big among addicts.

            The ignorance is yours. Not mine. It is a nasty minded non solution that just continues blaming those you already don’t like.

        • You don’t have a clue, bro. The western world, including us, has been in population decline for decades. Without immigration, we would have a declining population since we don’t have enough babies on our own to increase our numbers. It’s the poor world that continues to grow in number. You need an average of 2.2 kids to increase population and we average closer to 1.5 or less. This info has been out there for a long time, i don’t know why people still don’t get this.
          And educating women? where have you been? In the U.S., women outnumber men in college. Your entire argument is moot…

        • She said “talk to”. You immediately went into full “they’re fascists” mode. If we cannot talk reasonably about hard choices, we are doomed as a race.

        • I guess being intelligent while having Conservative values isn’t so SIMPLE.

    • Death penalty is repeating the crime. No good. Its the crimes we want to stop and that won’t work unless society overall rejects the crime and does not just repeat it.

    • NWO plan is 50% human population reduction by 2050. Don’t worry Farce…. it’s in the plans. And mr Steve Wiley… you talk of Anarchy, just to let you know

  • Humboldt Original

    How common is this behavior on Hwy 36 and 299 amongst others?

    • a lot of assumptions here. I fish the middle fork often and this guy looks like a transient in the wrong place at the wrong time and the stolen vehicle sounds typical gasquet. who the hell climbs a tree to set fire to it. a tree was felled in jed this year that was burning up high and it was determined to be an internal fire most likely by transients that were living in the hollow and didn’t realize they were causing it until it happened.

      • This suspect is a weird cat. Did you read the article linked above by Lynn H, the Sonoma News article? In that case, when caught he had the keys to 16 different vehicles on him. Not that he had stolen all those vehicles necessarily. Just stolen the keys? Maybe he’s the kind of person who likes to cause trouble and sit back and watch the results. Arson sounds perfect for that.

        • the suspect on 299 ended up being a chain link. if it is him, he would have needed a ride to little jones after ditching the vehicle.

          • 299 was the day before. I didn’t see anything anywhere about a chain link. Got a link?

            • “Humboldt County Fire Chiefs Association President Justin McDonald gave a brief update on the investigation into the fire’s cause.
              “I believe it was somebody dragging chains,” he said. “

    • WTF does Hwy 36 have to do with this article???

  • Stellar work ladies and gents! I hope he never gets out from behind bars.

  • what kind of weirdo gets pleasure from starting fires

    • An arsonist. It is like any other mental illness that “normal” people don’t get and don’t bother to look deeper into the problem.

  • So glad they caught up with him – and he seemed to be actively hard to find. Well Done!

    When I look at the photo the impulse is to slap him – get that look off his face.
    I don’t make a habit of slapping people, so the impulse is notable.
    Last time I had it was looking at news photos of Martin Shkreli.

    NO BAIL for arsonists. They have proved themselves to be a threat to Public Safety.

  • “A local resident at the market knew him to be Michael Lindauer.” no one comes up in Oregon or California in any data base with this name. yet he “was also wanted for outstanding, unrelated out-of-area warrants for vehicle theft. He is also on probation in two different California jurisdictions.”

    • What kind of database are you talking about? Whitepages brings him right up, with towns listed as South Tahoe, Gasquet, and Crescent City among others. That a local resident would know who he is shouldn’t be surprising.

  • my point is how does someone know him in town (Gasquet) and he just stole a car in Ashland and is from S. Lake Tahoe.

  • This guy must have some awesome stereo vision depth perception, his freakin’ eyes are like six inches apart from each other. wtf.

  • Gasquet Mike took this drone footage of the Little Jones Creek Ridge on 11-13-18.

  • Not to miss the lead but is “good old fashioned cop work” like anything besides drug war bs? Then this sure is. I love me some Old West Sheriff tales.. We played Cops, and robbers when we were kids. Not cops and sick people.

    • instead of getting his full name, age, and residency in the press release, we get “A local resident at the market knew him to be Michael Lindauer”. the whole thing is a tale if you base on the wording.

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