The Hood River County River District Attorney has filed charges against the 15-year-old Vancouver boy accused of starting the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge which burned nearly than 49,000 acres, forced hundreds to evacuate and closed Interstate 84. The boy arraigned in juvenile court. His name is not being made public as officials fear for his safety.
From the Hood River County River District Attorney’s Office:
”When the Eagle Creek fire erupted a criminal investigation was immediately begun by the Oregon State Police. US Forest Service investigators have been assisting the State Police in this ongoing investigation. As a result of the investigation legal proceedings have been commenced in the Hood River County Circuit Court. A fifteen year old boy recently appeared and was arraigned on a Juvenile Court Petition.
Allegations in the Petition include acts of Reckless Burning, Depositing Burning Materials on Forest Lands, Unlawful Possession of Fireworks, Criminal Mischief and Recklessly Endangering Other Persons. The charging petition was filed by the Hood River County Juvenile Department at the direction of the Hood River County District Attorney John Sewell. The Hood River County District Attorney’s office has been acting in cooperation with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office. Although extensive damage caused by the wildfire occurred in both Hood River and Multnomah Counties, Oregon’s juvenile code dictates that legal proceedings be commenced in the county where the illegal act originally occurred, which is Hood River County.
The District Attorney’s office, the Oregon State Police and the Hood River County Juvenile Department will have no further comment until the case has been resolved.”