Arrests Rising In North Complex Evacuation Zone


Authorities in Butte County say just one person remains unaccounted for in the North Complex fire zone. The death toll stands at 15.

Officials identified two more victims Wednesday evening: 61-year-old Mark Delagardie and 64-year-old Kin Lee.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea says both were aware of the fire but refused to evacuate.

“At approximately 10 p.m. family members spoke with Mr. Lee by telephone. Mr. Lee told family members that he was aware of the fire and that he would evacuate if flames became visible.”

A friend of Mr. Delagardie contacted sheriff’s officials after he reportedly refused to leave his home.

Sheriff Honea also says his deputies have been making more arrests in parts of the fire zone that are still under evacuation orders.

Officials have issued an arrest warrant for 46-year-old Sunshine Galvez of Oroville, who is suspected of running up charges on a credit card stolen from an evacuated home.

While some of the arrests have been for similar crimes, officials say that illegal marijuana gardens are relatively common in the area and people are sneaking back to tend to their plants.

The North Complex Fire is 36% contained with close to 275,000 acres and 925 structures burned.