Friday, December 1, 2023

Washington Woman Admits to Law Enforcement She Sparked Yesterday’s Ogulin Fire in Clearlake

Angela Kay Smith [Mugshot from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Booking Logs]

41-year-old Angela Kay Smith of Centralia, Washington has been booked into the Lake County jail facing two charges of arson after allegedly admitting to law enforcement a cigarette she was smoking sparked the Ogulin Fire that grew to 17.2 acres and caused mandatory evacuations yesterday afternoon.

Sergeant Mike Perreault of the Clearlake Police Department told us Smith was located by Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies in the vicinity of the fire and subsequently detained. While detained, Smith allegedly told deputies outright that a cigarette she had been smoking had ignited the Ogulin Fire. Sergeant Perreault said that it was unclear whether Smith intended to start the fire using her cigarette or if it was an accidental start.

An eyewitness also came forward and told deputies he had been driving along Highway 53 and watched Smith walking away from the fire moments after it had ignited when it was only a 7’x7’ foot square of flame. The witness would later identify Smith as the woman he watched walking away from the fire.

The Ogulin Fire burning on the side of Highway 53 near Clearlake [Photograph from Caltrans District 1 Facebook page]

The fire flared up quickly in the afternoon sun reportedly growing at an “extreme rate of spread”. Businesses and residences were evacuated due to the blaze and Highway 53 was closed as the blaze burned alongside it. 

The booking logs state that Smith is facing one charge of felony arson during a state of emergency, a felony causing a fire of structure/forest land, and one misdemeanor controlled substance. 

Sergeant Perreault told us Smith was also found with methamphetamine in her possession. 

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Remember, any charges associated with this incident have not been proven in a court of law and the details of the incident are still being sorted out. In accordance with the legal principle of the presumption of innocence, any individual described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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  1. Does anyone know if she was or had a car with her,she looks like the one who stole my car,a red honda accord,95 w dark green hood

  2. There is NO 1700 N state street. You mean she was arrested out in the street in front of motel 6 and her 1 and 2 year old sick with COVID were in the motel 6 room uncared for? Why was it so necessary to arrest on a misdemeanor in a situation like this and not cited out? Why not do a welfare check in the motel room on who will be caring for the sick babies if you take the mother into custody? Why not call for CPS assistance since it was DV with children at the location and mother being arrested? Too much paperwork? Too close to shift change? Wasn’t the deputy concerned if the children were left alone with mother and boyfriend fighting out in front of the motel? People do lie as to not get in more trouble. People do lie about leaving their children alone. Even the deputy said the DV started in the room and mother chased after her boyfriend to the street where she was arrested. So, how did a babysitter get there. At minimum there should have been a well-check on those children before the mother was removed into custody. You DID take a mother of two into custody from the front of the motel and you knew those kids were in the motel and you did not know their condition or caretaker.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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