Juvenile arraigned in Eagle Creek fire cause

A 15-year-old boy has been arraigned in juvenile court on charges related to causing the Eagle Creek fire, according to a statement by John Sewell, Hood River County District Attorney.

Sewell said in a statement, released by Oregon State Police at about noon Thursday:

"When the Eagle Creek fire erupted a criminal investigation was immediately begun by the Oregon State Police. U.S. 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 15-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 Sewell’s direction. The 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, Sewell said.

“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,” he said.

The statement did not name the suspect or identify where he lives. However, OSP said in early September police had identified a 15-year-old male suspect from Vancouver, Wash.

“It is believed he and others may have been using fireworks which started the forest fire along the Eagle Creek Trail. The suspect was then contacted by law enforcement in the parking lot of the trailhead and was interviewed,” OSP said in a news release.

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