Sierra County Achieves Justice: Arsonist Sentenced for Berry Fire Incident


After enduring over a year of delays, justice has finally been served in Sierra County regarding the Berry Fire incident that unfolded on August 22, 2022. Dillon James Schneider, the individual linked to igniting the Berry Fire, faced sentencing yesterday for his role in the event.

Held in custody at Wayne Brown Correctional Facility since August 23, 2022, Schneider received a sentence of 6 years and 4 months in State Prison. He will be transferred to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation following the court proceedings to begin his sentence.

Apart from serving time in prison, Schneider must pay restitution for fire suppression costs, with the exact amount to be determined in the coming months.

Expressing remorse during sentencing, Schneider apologized to the court and the Forest Service personnel, committing to rectifying his behavior and positively contributing to society upon release.

Sierra County sheriff’s office had apprehended Schneider for arson following emergency calls of a fire near Berry Creek on that day in August over a year ago. Responders from the Tahoe National Forest Service and Sierra County Fire safely contained the fire, where leading investigators determined it’s start was suspicious. Interviews with witnesses pointed to Dillon Schneider, who was employed as a water truck driver for a local logging company, as a person of interest. Later that day, the Sierra County sheriff’s office arrested Schneider for possessing a prohibited firearm, possessing stolen property, and having a substance used to start fires. His bail was set at half a million dollars.

The Sierra County District Attorney praised the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office for their investigative efforts that led to Mr. Schneider’s arrest. Recognition was also extended to the firefighters and investigators at the US Forest Service-Tahoe National Forest and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal-Fire) for their professionalism in swiftly containing the fire and aiding in prosecuting this case.