A 41-year-old man was arrested in Oregon for starting one of the two origins of the Almeda fire, located just outside of Medford. “Deputies responded to reports some people were armed and asking for identification of the folks they stopped,” Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese said in a statement last week. None of the suspects, however, were allegedly motivated by politics. 5. Kate Brown said. “We have some leads, and none of it points in that direction.”. YouTuber Dutchsinse has discovered something unbelievable while looking at the fires in the Western United States and studying the earthquakes occurring around the world. “A lot of these fires starting around Oregon are being purposely set by … The alleged arson comes as Oregon is one of the worst hit by wildfires devastating the West Coast, with at least 10 dead in the Beaver State. The four suspects in the smaller fires reportedly dealt with drug addiction, mental illness, and homelessness. As fires ravage Oregon and Washington, burning around 1 million acres in a matter of days, fear and rumors have begun to take hold on social media. “Rumors spread just like wildfire and now our 9-1-1 dispatchers and professional staff are being overrun with requests for information and inquiries on an UNTRUE rumor that 6 … According to the Bay Area Air District, the region’s air pollution control agency, the orange skies around San Francisco and in much of Oregon and Washington were the result of … ", And the FBI Portland tweeted on Friday it has investigated reports that extremists are responsible for setting wildfires and found the reports to be "untrue.". “One thing I can say is that the rumor it was set by antifa is 100% false information,” O'Meara wrote in an email. As rumors have spread, state and federal officials have spoken out against theories about the origin of the catastrophic blazes. Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. "Rumors spread just like wildfire and now our 9-1-1 dispatchers and professional staff are being overrun with requests for information and inquiries on an UNTRUE rumor that 6 Antifa members have been arrested for setting fires in DOUGLAS COUNTY, OREGON," its post read. Multiple police departments have condemned and debunked  rumors about arson, and the spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Forestry said there is no indication of "a mass politically-influenced arson campaign.". Soon, at least half a dozen Facebook pages and groups started sharing the rumor in a cut-and-paste campaign. So far 24 people have been killed though the authorities in Oregon have told residents to brace themselves for a “mass fatality incident”. The claim by theorists online who are making the connections between DEWs and the growing seriousness of forest and brushfires point to the DEW rays as proof that the fires are being set on purpose and that they are in fact more sinister than were being let on to believe. This happens in the wake of widespread wildfires in the west, according to The Oregonian. Skip to Article Set Weather These claims have been dismissed by the FBI as “conspiracy theories” and Facebook has already taken to policing any posts that suggest the blazes are being set by any politically-motivated groups. There are three examples of possible fire setting sabotage involving the NW. Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, 15 law school students told they passed bar exam, then told they didn't, Senate GOP brushes off long-shot attempt to fight Biden win. On Facebook community groups in … Thursday September 10, 2020. Joy Krawczyk, a spokeswoman with the Oregon Department of Forestry, told The New York Times that the department has not seen “any indications of a mass politically influenced arson campaign. FBI Forced To Debunk Conspiracy Theory That ‘Antifa’ Extremists Set Fires In Oregon An orange smoke-filled sky is seen above Estacada, Oregon, on September 9, 2020, as fires burn nearby. Firefighters are stretched as fires tear through California, Oregon and Washington. High temperatures, strong winds, dry forests and lightning storms have all contributed to what has become one of the most dangerous fire seasons in history on the West Coast, per The Wall Street Journal. We did not arrest this person for arson, nor anyone affiliated with Antifa or 'Proud Boys' as we’ve heard throughout the day," its post said. A number of wildfires in Washington, Oregon, and California are now being considered arson, and several arsonists are already in jail – while there are more on the run, we’re told. “We told people engaging in this behavior that roadways are open to all users, and their actions are illegal and they could be subject to citation or arrest.”. Officials in Douglas County, and Jackson County reported getting false claims of arrests. "THIS IS NOT TRUE! She called the blazes a "once-in-a-generation event." The four other suspects allegedly caused more minor flames, which were put out. This photo taken by Talent, Ore., resident Kevin Jantzer shows the destruction of his hometown as wildfires ravaged the central Oregon town near … "They are boxing us in.. literally fires EVERYWHERE!!!" There's also no mention of antifa in tweets from the state trooper and local police department that announced his arrest. More: Bicyclist documents wildfire destruction in southern Oregon town, Officials in Oregon have decried rumors about arson, antifa. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here. We explain. Neither user responded to requests from USA TODAY for comment or substantiation. All it takes is a spark — like the blaze in California that was set by fireworks at a gender reveal party, as CNN reported. By In the news. As wildfires devastate the Pacific Northwest, authorities are begging residents to stem the flow of rumors about politically-motivated arson. Michael Jarrod Bakkela, one of the six suspects. He was described as a transient, but had a Salem address. One suspect damaged more than a dozen homes, and put people in danger, authorities said. Then there was another shown igniting a fire in Oregon. Much of Oregon is currently on fire. Santiam Canyon wildfires started by downed power lines, priority on 'saving lives', Fires burning near Lincoln City scorch 2,400 acres, believed caused by human activity, A pyrotechnic device at a gender reveal party sparked one of the California wildfires, burning over 8,600 acres, As wildfires rage, false antifa rumors spur pleas from police, Police: Man charged after bringing weapons to Seattle protests, Antifa Radical Arrested for Arson in Washington State — Was Caught on Highway Live-Streaming on Facebook Before Arrest (Video), Antifa Arsonist Arrested Near Tacoma, WA After Live-streaming Himself. Claim: "Douglas County Sheriff has 6 ANTIFA arsonists in custody" for setting wildfires in Oregon. The fires have killed at … Based on our research, claims that wildfires in Oregon were set by antifascist activists are FALSE. According to one dashboard manned by Oregon Emergency Management, there are 37 active fires and more than … Fires in Lincoln County were confirmed to have been caused by human activity on Thursday, but that's still not indicative of arson. ", Beth Anne Steele, a spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, also told The Oregonian that there is "no indication that the fires are the result of coordinated criminal activity. Connect with friends faster than ever with the new Facebook app. Small fires grew and spread due to historically high winds, according to the Salem Statesman Journal. Three deaths have been blamed on the wildfires in Oregon, with another three in California and one in Washington. FOUR people have now been arrested on the West Coast for deliberately starting blazes as wildfires rage. Multiple posts on Facebook have alleged that this week's widespread wildfires in Oregon were actually set by antifascist activists known as antifa. MEDFORD, Ore. — A rumor about six "members of Antifa" setting fires in southern Oregon has been debunked by multiple law enforcement agencies this … Proud Boys are a far-right, anti-immigrant, all-male group, per BBC. Who are Boogaloo Bois, antifa and Proud Boys? Cops detained two men in Washington, a man in Oregon … The Douglas County Sheriff's Office posted a plea on its Facebook that community members stop spreading rumors about antifa. At least six men in Oregon have been charged with allegedly starting fires in the region on purpose. Salem Statesman Journal, Sept. 9, Oregon Wildfires. California wildfires in 2020 have set records for their size On the ground, about 16,600 firefighters have been deployed against 25 major wildfires across California, according to Cal Fire. Far-right websites like Protester Privilege and The Gateway Pundit have claimed in headlines that the suspect, Jeff Acord, whom authorities say set fire to a highway median, is an "Antifa radical." Unsubstantiated rumors circulated around Oregon that left-wing extremists were starting wildfires. Similarly, the Medford Police Department in Medford, Oregon, posted a note to debunk a rumor that the department had arrested political extremists for arson. Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Sept. 10. ", More: Fact check: Antifa.com redirects to Joe Biden's website, but Biden campaign not involved. Thank you for supporting our journalism. Historic wildfires are burning millions of acres and destroying homes and entire towns in California, Oregon and Washington state. What is going on?! Several fires started Monday night in Tillamook because of downed power lines, according to the Tillamook County Sheriff's Office. The majority of fires across Oregon and the west appear to have been sparked by power lines and other ignitions, and have exploded amid dry, hot and windy weather conditions in a … An arson investigation is underway in Oregon's Almeda Glendower Fire, but Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara told The Oregonian that it wasn't antifa. They cite his arrest at a protest for Black Lives Matter in 2014. The fire Acord set was quickly extinguished, and isn't linked to any of the other wildfires burning on the West Coast. Officials have confirmed the causes of some of the largest blazes in Oregon — and it's not antifa. Bicyclist documents wildfire destruction in southern Oregon town, Fact check: Antifa.com redirects to Joe Biden's website, but Biden campaign not involved, Wildfires Live Updates: Vast Destruction Across Three States, Rumors about ‘antifa’ wildfires in Oregon are false, law enforcement says, Arson investigation underway where human remains found at Almeda fire in Ashland, chief says. At least six men in Oregon have been charged with allegedly starting fires in the region on purpose. Human causes include campfires and burn piles, and discarded burning debris, per The Oregonian. Anita Esquivel was arrested by the Calfornia Highway Patrol on suspicion of arson Credit: Monterey County Sheriff's Office. Michael Jarrod Bakkela is accused of starting a fire in Phoenix, Oregon Credit: Jackson County Sheriff's Office. There is no clear connection between the groups. A case of arson that occurred in nearby Washington has fueled the rumors about antifa involvement, according to NBC News. Antifa itself is a moniker for antifascists, rather than a single coordinated group, per The Washington Post. The cause of the deadly Almeda Fire in southern Oregon is now under criminal investigation for potential arson, Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara, reportedly said Thursday. Interactive real-time wildfire and forest fire map for Oregon. "7 antifa members have been arrested for starting fires..." one user posted on Wednesday, along with a screenshot of a direct message that alleged that a logger "discovered a group of antifa throwing molotov cocktails on his property. subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here. No Comments yet, we're awaiting your thoughts Taxpayers Association of Oregon OregonWatchdog.com. Michael Jarrod Bakkela, one of the six suspects. Wildfires in California and other western states are getting worse every year, but is climate change all to blame? Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours. 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