Cal Fire Law Enforcement Officers arrested Christopher John Smith, age 20, of Redding, shortly after 1:00 a.m. on July 3, 2018, after observing a white four-door Mazda parked in a parking lot near the Creek Fire, where firefighters continue to work toward full containment. The area where Smith was contacted is designated for day use only prompting the officer to contact the subjects. While making contact, the officer noticed the Mazda resembled a vehicle that had been seen on surveillance video and social media, taking cases of bottled water, designated for firefighters, working on the Creek Fire on July 1, 2018. Upon search the vehicle, officers found a partial case of the stolen bottled water.
Smith was taken into custody and booked into the Shasta County Jail on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, petty theft and two misdemeanor warrants.
The Creek Fire started on June 24 and quickly spread due to the hot, dry and very windy conditions, prompting evacuations and road closures of the area. Firefighters aggressively battle the fire and with the coordination of many cooperating agencies were able to get residents back to their homes, however, firefighters are still working on mopping up and patrolling the fire until full containment is reached. The Creek Fire is currently 1678 acres and 98% contained.