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Utah man accused of starting Oregon wildfires

A grand jury last week indicted Christopher Glen Wilson, 37, of Salt Lake City on three counts of Arson in the First Degree and Reckless Endangerment. (OSP)

ONTARIO, Ore. (KVAL/KMTR) - A Utah man intentionally set fires on the Deschutes National Forest late last month, including one that forced the evacuation of a popular visitor site, Oregon State Police said.

Now investigators would like the public's help to determine whether the suspect could be linked to any other wildfires in the Northwest.

A grand jury last week indicted Christopher Glen Wilson, 37, of Salt Lake City on three counts of Arson in the First Degree and Reckless Endangerment.

The investigation began August 29 after fires broke out along Highway 97.

One of the fires prompted Forest Service law enforcement to evacuate Lava River Cave and Lava Lands Visitor Center. No one was injured.

Another one of the blazes, later dubbed the McKay Fire, grew to 1,219 acres before being contained. The others were held to two acres or less.

Investigators identified Wilson as a suspect in the fires, state police said.

State troopers located Wilson on Interstate 84 near Ontario as he entered Oregon on September 3. Wilson was driving a blue 2016 Hyundai Sonata that had been reported stolen.

Troopers arrested Wilson and booked him into the Malheur County Jail on suspicion of Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle.

A grand jury in Deschutes County where the fires happened indicted Wilson September 8.

State police asked anyone who saw Wilson or the vehicle he was driving in areas near wildfires to call (503) 375-3555.

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