Authorities arrest 4 people on arson charges in deadly and massive California, Oregon, and Washington wildfires

Authorities have arrested at least four people for suspected arson in the massive and still-growing wildfires in California, Oregon, and Washington.

What are the details?

According to reports, authorities in those states say that at least four of the fires are considered suspicious.

California authorities arrested suspect Anita Esquivel for allegedly intentionally setting fires along U.S. 101.

She was booked into the Monterey County Jail on arson charges.

Oregon authorities also arrested Michael Jarrod Bakkela, who lived in the woods of Oregon on two counts of arson, 15 counts of criminal mischief, and 14 counts of reckless endangerment.

Oregon Live reports that Bakkela is reportedly responsible for setting one of two major wildfires in the state, which has killed dozens and displaced hundreds.

Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office spokesperson Rich Tyler added that the fire Bakkela reportedly set is considered to be one of two origins of the Almeda fire.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office PIO Mike Moran told ABC News that the fire has caused “significant damage.”

“There are numerous homes, many of which are burnt completely, some are just heavily damaged, that are part of the 15 counts of criminal mischief,” he said.

According to Oregon Live, authorities have told area residents to prepare for a “mass fatality incident” due to the fires.

Washington authorities arrested two unrelated suspects who reportedly set small fires in the brush in two different areas of freeway.

CNN on Thursday reported that the wildfires across the western states torched more than 4 million acres, which is roughly the size of the state of New Jersey.

Anything else?

The FBI on Friday released a statement about reports that “extremists” were responsible for setting wildfires in Oregon.

“FBI Portland and local law enforcement agencies have been receiving reports that extremists are responsible for setting wildfires in Oregon,” the statement rad. “With our state and local partners, the FBI has investigated several such reports and found them to be untrue. Conspiracy theories and misinformation take valuable resources away local fire and police agencies working around the clock to bring these fires under control. Please help our entire community by only sharing validated information from official sources.”

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Author: Sarah Taylor


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