Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Ukiah Man Arrested for Carelessly Starting a Fire Near the Burn Scar of Last Year’s Destructive Hopkins Fire

The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino 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:

Richard Cauckwell [Mugshot from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office]

On 06-17-2022 at approximately 11:48 PM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a report of illegal camping with a warming fire at the site.

The fire was observed by neighboring residents in the 5600 block of East Side Calpella Road in Ukiah (California) who ultimately reported it to law enforcement. 

Deputies arrived and located Richard Cauckwell next to a fire which had several orange embers, and burnt sticks within a couple feet of several bushes.  The hot embers were within a couple of feet from dry bushes and trees.

Cauckwell’s clothing was also charred from the fire he had built.  Deputies believed Cauckwell’s clothes were burnt from him not cautiously attending to the fire.  Cauckwell was in possession of a torch style lighter which was used to start the fire.

It should be noted, burning in Mendocino County was banned as of 06-13-2022 per CalFire. It should also be noted this incident occurred near the 2021 Hopkins Fire that burned down several structures and homes within its footprint.

Cauckwell was placed under arrest for 452(C) PC [Felony Recklessly Causing Fire to Forest Land] and 13001 HS [Misdemeanor Careless Starting a Fire].

Cauckwell was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000.00 bail.



  1. I have known this person for years. Very nice person. Homeless, alcoholic, but a decent guy. If we had tiny homes for people receiving disability, it would cost way less than jails and hospitals. Usually a visit to the ER costs as much as a months rent for a tiny dwelling and a small allowance. He’s not dangerous at all. Yet….unless life kicks him a little too hard one day. Remember to just be kind to people. Sometimes that’s literally the only good they have.

    • He’s a child molester ….I was one of the children and he is my cousin. He’s a sick person and he’s where he is because that’s what he chose

  2. FEMA camps are coming soon as we offer no alternatives to the homeless. Meanwhile the tax money pours into the courthouse, jail, and non profit homeless industry.

  3. Disclaimer; I should tell everyone reading my previous comment that I haven’t spoken to Richard for a year or two, maybe three. It’s possible that he may have quit drinking years ago. People do get sober sometimes.

  4. The scary part of all the comments is that everyone thinks he us a ni e guy on hard times and I guess that’s the beautiful part of humanity and I am usually the same and I guess out of fear thar someone would feel bad enough for him to let him in there home …I have to say it would be a regretted mistake especially if you have children. My parents made that mistake because he was family…I was 5 -6 and he was in his mid 20s… i wasn’t the only child and sometimes people have earned where they are and he shouldn’t be allowed access the community …he’s not a victim

    • Sorry Brandi. I sincerely hope he is sorry. I don’t doubt your story at all. And I’m not dismissing your trauma. I hope that you can heal are able to forgive him. Healing comes from forgiveness. Sounds like you have carried this trauma and anger all your life. Please consider talking to a therapist who can help you work through the past. You’ll feel so much better. Holding onto bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, and resentment is mostly hurting YOU. That’s not just a saying, your body will physically manifest illness and or disease at some point. You deserve to be free of this heavy burden. Stop drinking the poison as they say in AA. And in the Bible it says that if you don’t forgive people God won’t forgive you. Maybe he is very sorry. I don’t know. There are always things we don’t know. I’m praying for you both to find healing, etc. Please consider what I’m saying.

  5. He gets to be housed and fed free of charge while I still struggle to get my property cleaned. Funny how now he is housed and I am still homeless from the Hopkins fire.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
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