SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The head of the U.S. Forest Service has denounced the arrest by an Oregon sheriff of a Forest Service employee after a planned burn in a national forest spread onto private land.
Rick Snodgrass, the U.S. Forest Service “burn boss,” was arrested on Oct. 19 and transported to the Grant County Jail, where he was conditionally released.
Grant County Sheriff Todd McKinley handcuffed Snodgrass before he was taken away, even as Snodgrass’ crew was working on the fire.
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Randy Moore, chief of the U.S. Forest Service, said the arrest was highly inappropriate under the circumstances.
The burn happened last week north of Seneca in the Malheur National Forest. It spread to private land, burning about 20 acres, according to the sheriff’s office.