Fourth of July festivities were put on hold late Wednesday afternoon after a fire broke out on the base of Pilot Butte in Bend. On Thursday Bend Police arrested two men accused of the starting the fire that burned ten acres and threatened nearby homes.
The two suspects are currently facing charges of criminal mischief in the first degree, reckless burning and possible arson charges related to the blaze.
Around 4:50 p.m. on Wednesday a small fire, allegedly sparked by fire works, quickly escalated into a full on inferno and fire crews were quickly called in to handle the blaze that was propelled through the grass by strong winds.
The fire prompted evacuations of two nearby apartment complexes and shut down Highway 20 in both directions. The fire also lead to a power outage that left roughly 27,000 Bend residents without power for hours.
On Wednesday night Highway 20 was reopened, power was back on and Bend’s fireworks show went on as planned. However, the Pilot Butte park access road and trail head will be closed for two days and firefighter continue to put out hot spots in order to avoid another fire from flaring up.