15-Year-Old Teen Facing Five Counts in Oregon Eagle Creek Fire
The Eagle Creek Fire in Oregon was one of the biggest this fire season, and has consumed 48,000-plus acres since it was first discovered September 2nd. The fire in the Columbia River Gorge near Cascade Locks is 50% contained, but not expected to grow, and suppression mop up efforts continue.
Shortly after the fire broke out, evidence to the opening of a criminal investigation by the Hood River County Prosecuting Attorney. According to witnesses and other forensic evidence, the fire origin was traced to a teen playing with fireworks. Thursday, officials released the following statement:
"....As a result of the investigation legal proceedings have been commenced in the Hood River County Circuit Court. A fifteen year old boy recently appeared and was arraigned on a Juvenile Court Petition.
Allegations in the Petition include acts of Reckless Burning, Depositing Burning Materials on Forest Lands, Unlawful Possession of Fireworks, Criminal Mischief and Recklessly Endangering Other Persons. The charging petition was filed by the Hood River County Juvenile Department at the direction of the Hood River County District Attorney John Sewell. The Hood River County District Attorney's office has been acting in cooperation with the Multnomah County District Attorney's office. Although extensive damage caused by the wildfire occurred in both Hood River and Multnomah Counties, Oregon's juvenile code dictates that legal proceedings be commenced in the county where the illegal act originally occurred, which is Hood River County.
The District Attorney's office, the Oregon State Police and the Hood River County Juvenile Department will have no further comment until the case has been resolved."