Court date set for teen accused in Eagle Creek Fire

Shellrock Mountain in flames: September’s Eagle Creek fire dominated the year’s news. The teen suspected of starting the fire will have his next court hearing Feb. 16 at Hood River County Courthouse, officials confirmed Friday.

Photo by Peter Marbach
Shellrock Mountain in flames: September’s Eagle Creek fire dominated the year’s news. The teen suspected of starting the fire will have his next court hearing Feb. 16 at Hood River County Courthouse, officials confirmed Friday.



The next hearing for the 15-year-old alleged to have started the Eagle Creek fire is scheduled for Feb. 16 at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 1 of the Hood River Courthouse, Trial Court Administrator Angie Tennison confirmed Friday.

"The hearing is an admission/denial hearing," Tennison said via email.

The teen, from Vancouver, Wash., has been charged with reckless burning and other offenses in Hood River Juvenile Court.

The courtroom will be open to the public.

Tennison said for the public and media, no electronic devices will be allowed into the courthouse during the hearing including cell phones, laptops, cameras, electronic tablets or any other audio, video, or other electronic recording equipment. She cited a Uniform Trial Court Rule.

The blaze, which started Sept. 2, forced evacuations, closed Interstate 84 for about two weeks, and scorched more than 75 square miles. Most of the Columbia River Historic Highway and Trail remain off-limits for safety reasons, though the six-mile stretch of the highway from Corbett to Bridal Veil was opened last month.

Hood River County District Attorney John Sewell hasn't released the boy's name. He says confidentiality is necessary to protect the boy's parents.

As noted in Oregonian/OregonLive coverage, “The case has sparked fierce debate over the potential consequences for the boy, including whether his family should be financially liable for damages.

“In October, his mother reportedly told the Oregonian/OregonLive that ‘this is a trauma for him’ and ‘it was his mistake.’ She said she fears a public backlash and that the boy's school-age siblings might face retaliation.”



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