Northern California Arson Suspect to Appear in Court

Lake County Sheriff(LOS ANGELES) -- The man suspected of starting numerous California wildfires in the past year -- including one this weekend -- is expected to make his first court appearance on Wednesday.

Damin Anthony Pashilk, 40, was taken into custody Monday and charged with 17 counts of arson.

Pashilk is suspected of starting many fires in Lake County in Northern California, most recently the Clayton fire, which began Saturday and has so far burned more than 4,000 acres. The blaze is now 35 percent contained.

"The residents of Lake County have experienced senseless loss and endured significant hardship over the past year," Chief Ken Pimlott of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. "Mr. Pashilk committed a horrific crime, and we will seek prosecution to the fullest extent of the law."

The blaze has destroyed more than 175 structures and is threatening an additional 380.

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