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:
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.