Three recent Central Oregon wildfires are now being investigated as arson, the Deschutes National Forest announced Tuesday.
Forest Service law enforcement is looking for help as they investigate a series of suspicious fires in South County earlier this month.
- The Rosland Road Fire was reported around 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 18 near Rosland Road and Newberry Estates, 4 miles NE of La Pine. The fire was contained at 393 acres, but it forced “be ready” evacuation notices for residents.
- The Finley Fire was reported at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8 near Darlene Way and Finley Butte Road, approximately 2 miles east of La Pine. The fire was contained at 45 acres.
- The Paulina Lake Fire was reported at 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 5 near Highway 97 and Forest Road 21, approximately 6 miles NE of La Pine. The fire was contained at 48 acres.
The charges can carry a penalty of up to five years which makes it a felony, Forest Service Public Affairs Officer Jean Nelson-Dean. But it would depend on the investigation, there are also potential misdemeanor charges that could be applicable.
“During our initial investigations into these fires each one was determined to be suspicious rather than having a direct cause like an abandoned campfire or lightening,” she said.
The public is asked to call the Forest Service Arson tip line at 541-383-5717 and leave a message with any information that could help identify a potential suspect or suspect vehicle.