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DA: Boy, 15, formally charged in juvenile court with starting Eagle Creek Fire

Photo of the Eagle Creek Fire taken from the Bonneville Dam courtesy Steven McCarthy

HOOD RIVER, Ore. - A 15-year-old boy faces charges in juvenile court accusing him of igniting the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge.

From the Hood River District Attorney:

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."

The Vancouver, Wash., teen is accused of starting the 48,800-acre Eagle Creek Fire in early September.

Investigators said they suspect he was throwing fireworks off of the Eagle Creek Trail on September 2, during an exceptionally long spell of hot, dry weather.

Fueled by wind through the Columbia River Gorge, the fire quickly spread and prompted thousands of evacuations in the surrounding communities.

At one point the fire jumped the Columbia and started a fire on the Washington side of the Gorge.

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