Nikolaevsk man blocked wildfire crew's response, troopers say
A Nilokaevsk man was arrested Monday evening after Alaska State Troopers say he interfered with fire crews trying to contain a wildfire near the Kenai Peninsula community.
Derek Jokay-Szilagyi, 45, was arrested at about 5:30 p.m. Monday, according to a trooper dispatch.
”An investigation showed Jokay-Szilagyi had laid down in the middle of the road and impeded a fire truck which was responding to a wildland fire which was threatening occupied residences in Nikolaevsk,” troopers wrote.
Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said Tuesday that alcohol was believed to have been a factor in the incident.
The Alaska Division of Forestry reported Monday that the fire had burned 5 to 7 acres of land near buildings off Bolotna Road. Wind was pushing the blaze “away from structures and into a wet area,” however, as a bucket helicopter and fire crews responded.
The fire caused flames to rise four- to six-feet in grasslands Monday. It was believed to be human-caused, according to Forestry officials, with no word on its specific origin.
Jokay-Szilagyi was initially held at the Homer Jail on charges of disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment, troopers said.
In 2015, Houston resident Scott Leitner was also arrested on disorderly conduct charges for allegedly blocking fire crews’ access to his property as they fought the massive Sockeye Fire north of Willow.
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