WEED, Calif.-- Since evacuation orders were issued for the Mount Shasta Vista Subdivision earlier this week, Siskiyou County Sheriff Officers have arrested 14 people for entering and refusing to leave the area.
The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office also says that one of the arrests included that of a male driver who pushed a county employee with a vehicle and ran a roadblock.
The Sheriff's Office states that law enforcement and firefighting personnel are working around the clock to prevent the Lava Fire from spreading any further and that resources are being focused on getting the area back open to the community.
"We have one mission which is to preserve life and property during a fire," said Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue. "We want people back where they live. No matter where they live."
However, he says that it is extremely challenging when people intentionally disobey orders and interfere with operations and that this can slow down the progress for full fire containment and interferes with safety measures.
On top of that, Sheriff LaRue says that with several homes in the area not registered with a legal permit it makes it even harder to verify if community members are trying to return to the area, or if looters are attempting to take advantage of the situation.
"Most of these folks don't have a permanent address out there and so we have a huge issue with looting," said Sheriff LaRue. "Unless they can show proof that they live there I don't want to send someone in their that good loot the properties."
Once an evacuation order is set in place, people must leave an area, because of the impending danger of a wildfire, and are not allowed to return back into the area until fire crews and police officers declare the area is safe to return.