On May 6, 2021, The Sierra County Sheriff’s Office received multiple 911 calls reporting two vegetation fires burning in the Bear Valley wildlife area near the Sierra Brooks subdivision. The Loyalton Fire Department, Sierra County Fire Department along with the US Forest Service responded for fire suppression. Sheriff’s Deputies also responded in anticipation of conducting evacuations due to the fire’s proximity to homes. The fires were contained to approximately three acres and monitored through out the night.
The sheriff’s office received information that a male subject was seen leaving the area of the fire on foot walking south on Bear Valley Road. Deputies were able to identify the person of interest, who lived in the Sierra Brooks area. On May 12, 2021, the person of interest, Nathan Ashley (32 years of age) was arrested in Sierra Brooks on unrelated charges. While in custody, Cal-Fire assisted the sheriff’s office in conducting an interview with Mr. Ashley regarding the fire. During the interview Mr. Ashley admitted to starting the fire.
On May 14, 2021, Nathan Ashley was arrested for felony arson, a violation California Penal Code section 451. Nathan Ashley is currently being held on $125,000 bail in the Wayne Brown Correctional facility. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 289-3700.