Local man arrested in Dixie Fire evacuation Zone

A Susanville resident was arrested this week after officers allegedly encountered him in a mandatory evacuation order zone.

According to a statement from the CHP, on Aug. 19, “CHP officers were patrolling the area of Lakecrest Road in the town of Janesville. The area was under mandatory evacuation order due to the Dixie wild land fire and the immediate threat to public safety.”

“At approximately 11:35 a.m., a CHP officer encountered Willis Dow walking on Lakecrest Road south of Blinkenstaff Road. This area was within the confines of the evacuation order. Dow was given a warning and advised to leave the area. Shortly thereafter, Dow was observed by another CHP officer running northbound on Lakecrest Road,” the statement alleged.

“The officer ordered Dow to stop. Dow continued to run away from the officer and entered a pickup truck attached to a trailer, loaded with a bulldozer. The officer caught up to Dow as he sat in the driver’s seat of the pickup truck. The officer continued to order Dow to stop. Dow failed to comply with the officer’s orders and drove the pickup in the direction of the officer,” according to the statement from CHP.

“The officer took evasive action in order to avoid being struck by the vehicle Dow was driving. Additional officers arrived on scene and an enforcement stop was initiated. Dow brought the pickup to a stop. Officers ordered Dow out of the vehicle and ordered him to assume a prone position on the ground.  Dow complied.”

“While Dow was on the ground, he began recording the officers with a cell phone. In order to effect an arrest, the officers ordered Dow to set the cell phone down and place his hands behind his back.  Dow refused to comply with the officer’s orders,” the statement alleged. “The officers used control holds and were able to place  Dow in handcuffs. Dow was transported from the scene and booked in the Lassen County Jail.”