Man Accused of Starting Perry Fire Appears in Court
He is charged with multiple counts of arson after prosecutors say he started the Perry Fire in late July.
The man accused of starting this summer's Perry Fire near Pyramid Lake appeared in court on Monday.
Witnesses testified during a preliminary hearing for Charles David Radonski.
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has charged Radonski with two counts of First Degree Arson and two counts of Third Degree Arson. A conviction for First Degree Arson presents a potential prison sentence of 15 years. A Third Degree Arson conviction presents a potential sentence of four years in prison. Both crimes also carry a possible fine and restitution. Radonski remains in custody at the Washoe County Regional Detention Facility.
The Perry Fire was fully contained at 51,400 acres.
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has filed formal criminal charges against alleged Perry Fire starter, Charles David Radonski.
The District Attorney’s Office charged Radonski with two counts of First Degree Arson and two counts of Third Degree Arson. A conviction for First Degree Arson presents a potential prison sentence of 15 years. A Third Degree Arson conviction presents a potential sentence of four years in prison. Both crimes also carry a possible fine and restitution. Radonski remains in custody at the Washoe County Regional Detention Facility.
The case against Radonski is a continuing investigation. Prosecutors are working with local authorities to further the investigation and determine if additional charges are warranted.
Earlier, the BLM announced that all evacuations near the fire were lifted.
The BLM says the 51,400-acre Perry Fire near Pyramid Lake is 79% contained. The BLM says three homes and 15 other structures are destroyed or damaged.
Microwave Road is closed from the junction with Right Hand Canyon. The road will reopen as soon as crews feel it is safe to do so.
Utility companies and other cooperators are being escorted to Virginia Peak by firefighters to allow them to conduct maintenance on facilities and equipment.
As of Sunday, August 5, the national team leading the fire fighting efforts has passed things along to the local land managers. As the team leaves, four fire engines and a helicopter will remain assigned to the Perry Fire.
One homeowner says their house was destroyed on Paiute Creek Road.
"My stomach turned, but when I first started hearing the alerts I knew something bad was going to happen. I could feel it," says Sherry Chizek.
Luckily, her whole family and her pets were safe since they evacuated in time, but 12 years of memories inside the home for 12 years are gone.
"We didn't think about grabbing more clothes, bedding, things we are going to need now but we didn't think of grabbing that stuff because it didn't seem real...one thing I should have grabbed was more pictures, my mother is a photographer. Had her pictures hanging up on the walls. I didn't think of grabbing that stuff, we thought 'no, we will back. It will be fine.'"
Since the Red Cross shelter first opened on the evening of July 28, the Red Cross has housed residents, protected over 300 animals, provided over 350 meals and have distributed water, clean-up kits, face masks, eye drops, and snacks.
The Red Cross will continue to provide recovery resources as needed. Residents who require assistance are still urged to call the hotline number at 775 741-3564.
Face masks have been donated by the Washoe County Health District and Renown Medical Center. Additional items that remain accessible to residents include comfort kits, eye drops, water, and cleanup kits containing cleaning supplies, mops and rubber gloves.
There are no highway closures but officials ask that you drive with your lights on for visibility in the heavy smoke. Traffic in canyons near the fire is a growing concern for firefighters.
Beachgoers are asked to avoid the following beaches; Tamarack, Indian Head, Blockhouse, Sandhole and Rawhide due to traffic issues.
If you saw any vehicles along the Pyramid Lake Highway or have any information to assist local agencies in the fire investigation, call 775.461.6200.
(The BLM contributed to this report.)
Sunday morning BLM officials say that they Perry Fire is at 18,000 acres and remains at 15% containment.
Evacuations remain in place and the shelter at the Ironwood Event Center at 5600 Whiskey Springs Road is open for people and livestock.
The American Red Cross shelter hotline is 775-741-3564. They are providing food and water for people who need access to shelter.
70 structures are now threatened.
Luckily no structures have been lost but one vehicle has burned. There and no injuries reported and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
SR 446 is closed in both directions between Pyramid Lake Highway to SR 447 due to the fire's proximity to the roadway.
They ask that you avoid the area if possible.
To see where it's closed, click here.
After a briefing in Nixon Saturday, officials estimate the Perry Fire to be around 15,000 acres. It's still 15 % contained, but there are now 227 personnel working on battling the blaze.
A Type 3 Team will take over the fire Sunday.
BLM officials say that they've received numerous calls about the smoke. They ask that you only call 911 and Dispatch Centers if you actually see a fire burning.
The smoke filling the sky is from the Ferguson, Carr and Perry fires.
The Bureau of Land Management says at least 20 structures are threatened by the Perry Fire burning near Pyramid Lake. Voluntary evacuations are in place.
Officials say the structures threatened are in the Grass Valley Road and Whiskey Springs Road areas. Firefighters have structure protection in place for those homes.
A voluntary evacuation center has been set up for affected residents and animals at Ironwood Event Center at 5600 Whiskey Springs Road. There was a center set up at Shaw Middle School but that one is no longer open considering they have enough room at the event center.
Sierra Front reports multiple agencies are responding to the blaze. It has burned 11,200 acres since sparking around 5:00 p.m. Friday night. It is currently 15% contained.
Around 100 firefighters are working to suppress the flames. There's no word on how the fire started at this time.
BLM officials say nearby beaches at Pyramid Lake have been closed due to the fire. NDOT says Pyramid Highway is back open after being closed Friday night. Crews are now working to keep the spread of the fire away from Highway 445.
The Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District also says fire investigator are looking for a vehicle that left the scene of the fire Friday night. Anyone with information is asked to call 775-461-6200