BEND, OR -- Oregon State Police, along with US Forest Service law enforcement are investigating the cause of a number of recent wildfires in Central Oregon. OSP Captain Bill Fugate tells KBND News, "We’re calling this arson, just due to the nature of the fire starts and the locations and how they’re getting started. That’s evidence we can’t talk about right now, but we will call it arson."
"We know that many of those fires were human caused and we have reason to believe that those were intentional fire starts," says Captain Fugate. "There are fires ranging from the Sisters area to Century Drive and other areas in and around Central Oregon."
Read more about recent small fires near Sisters.
He says it's not yet clear whether the suspicious fires are the work of one or more arsonists. "This person or persons who are starting these are traveling around and intentionally starting these fires and our concern is for the safety of our firefighters. And, not only that, just losing a home or losing a life, in general, is our fear."
Authorities hope tips from the public will help lead investigators to those responsible. "If anybody is out and about and sees something that doesn’t look right, doesn’t feel right, we’re asking them just to give us a call and let us know of the suspicious behavior. Get a good description of the vehicle or the person, and help us keep our natural resources in tact."