The following is a press release issued by the California Highway Patrol. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
On 5/30/2022 at approximately 1036 hours, the Ukiah Communication Center (UCC) received several 911 calls for a fire being started in the center divider on US-101 just south of N State St by a pedestrian wearing a black jacket. Officers from the Ukiah CHP office responded to the scene and located an adult female matching the description provided by the motoring public. Officers detained the subject and conducted an arson investigation. While conducting their investigation, Officers located a green butane lighter in the subject’s possession. After conducting their investigation and with assistance from the Mendocino County Sheriffs Department, The CHP Officers on scene were able to identify the subject as Melissa Beck of Ukiah. Melissa Beck was subsequently arrested and charged with arson. A CHP Officer transported Melissa Beck to the Mendocino County Jail where she was booked into custody without incident.
Fire personnel from CAL Fire and Ukiah Valley Fire arrived on the scene and were able to quickly contain the fire to only a quarter acre. Chief Buckingham with the Ukiah Valley Fire department arrived on the scene to conduct his own arson case alongside CHP.MX-5070N_20220531_143012