Four people have been charged with arson in California, Oregon and Washington. The fires are part of the damage caused by wildfires in the three states. It is not known at this time if any of them are antifa members.
Police say they have received numerous tips about antifa starting wildfires in the three states. But the police and the FBI said they investigated the claims but found no evidence to back up the claims. They believe the rumors started after Portland police sent out a message to the rioters that any fires they set could be windblown into the forest and set it ablaze.
Reports that extremists are setting wildfires in Oregon are untrue. Help us stop the spread of misinformation by only sharing information from trusted, official sources. pic.twitter.com/ENc4c3kjep
— FBI Portland (@FBIPortland) September 11, 2020
The police warned:
“To those attending the demonstration tonight: Keep in mind the immediate risk the use of fire poses to community members. Since fire danger is very high right now due to high winds and the current dry climate, fire will spread quickly and could affect many lives.”
Michael Jarrod Bakkela, a transient living in the Oregon woods, was arrested late this week “on two counts of arson, 15 counts of criminal mischief and 14 counts of reckless endangerment,” according to Oregon Live. Bakkela is allegedly responsible for setting one of two major wildfires in Oregon; the fires have now merged, killing at least 24 people, leaving hundreds homeless, and torching at least 5,700 acres of precious forest land.
Bakkela’s alleged fire is likely responsible for the deaths of at least two people, according to Oregon authorities.
The California Highway Patrol arrested a 37-year-old woman, Anita Esquivel, for starting fires along Highway 101. The police say they don't believe she is a member of antifa but they don't have a motive yet.
We got another one! Great job Trooper Morefield. A pedestrian decided to match light the grass at SR-512 and SR-7. Citizen observed and alerted 911. After a short foot chase, one is in custody and on his way to jail. #Justice #Beatrooper @CentralPierce pic.twitter.com/ePJMHU4tUd
— Trooper Ryan Burke (@wspd1pio) September 10, 2020