The Hood River County District Attorney has indicted the 15-year-old boy from Vancouver, Wash. who allegedly sparked the Eagle Creek Fire that blazed through the Columbia River Gorge in early September.
The boy, who has not been named, was charged in juvenile court with reckless burning, depositing burning materials on forest lands, unlawful possession of fireworks, criminal mischief and recklessly endangering other persons.
Witnesses saw the teenager toss a lit firecracker into dry brush, which ignited a fire that sent ash raining down on Portland and threatened to destroy treasured spots like Multnomah Falls.
According a a press release, the Hood River District Attorney has been working closely with the Multnomah County District Attorney because the fire burned extensive land within Multnomah County, but the boy will only face charges in Hood River County.
More details on the charges are listed in a press release:
“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.”