Suspect Arrested for Illegally Entering Airola Fire Evacuated Area

Vallecito CA…On 8-25-21 at about 3:30 PM Vallecito area was placed under mandatory evacuation orders due to a rapidly spreading wildfire originating near the Parrots Ferry Bridge. Calaveras County deputies, Angels Camp police officers, and California State Parks officers responded to evacuate residents. Once the evacuation was completed they began patrolling the evacuated areas for possible looters. California Highway Patrol officers and the Calaveras County Road Department was tasked with road closures on Parrots Ferry Rd. and other areas around Vallecito.

At approximately 11:40 PM Calaveras County deputies were contacted by a CHP officer assigned to perimeter detail at the aforementioned road closure. The CHP officers advised a male, later identified as suspect Richard Serva (32 years of age, Avery, CA) approached the roadblock irate and yelling profanities. CHP explained to suspect Serva the area was closed due to wildfire activity and he was not allowed to enter. suspect Serva became increasingly agitated while speaking with the officers. Suspect Serva eventually walked away from the roadblock.

About 10 minutes later (11:50 PM) deputies were patrolling when they located suspect Serva on Parrots Ferry Rd past the roadblocks. It was learned that suspect Serva walked through the woods to circumvent being detected by the roadblocks. When the deputies contacted him he was still uncooperative shouting for the deputies to “take him to jail”. Suspect Serva was placed under arrest without incident. He was evacuated and relocated to the Calaveras County Jail. He was booked for 409.5(a) PC unauthorized entry into an emergency area (misdemeanor), 647(f) PC public intoxication (misdemeanor), and 148(a)(1) PC delaying a peace offer in performance of duties (misdemeanor).
During evacuations, the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office coordinates mutual aid with local and state law enforcement agencies to provide extra patrol for the affected areas. During these extra patrols deputies vigorously patrol to ensure the security of the evacuated areas.

Persons entering or trespassing in an area subject to mandatory evacuations will be arrested. Looting and or trespassing during evacuations will not be tolerated. Persons entering evacuation areas will slow and at times stop firefighting progress and the flow of other emergency equipment and personnel from entering to stop or slow the fire. Evacuations are put into place to save lives and protect property. If you are caught interfering with those efforts in Calaveras County you will go directly to jail.