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Charges Brought Against Teen in Columbia Gorge Fire

The Hood River County District Attorney said in a statement Thursday that the charges in juvenile court include reckless burning, depositing burning materials on forest lands, criminal mischief and recklessly endangering other persons.

Posted: Oct. 19, 2017 1:10 PM
Updated: Oct. 30, 2017 5:37 AM

HOOD RIVER, Ore. (AP) - Charges have been lodged against a 15-year-old boy who allegedly used fireworks to start a wildfire in Oregon's scenic Columbia River Gorge that burned out of control, triggering evacuations, the closing of an interstate highway and causing ash to rain down on nearby Portland.

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The Hood River County District Attorney said in a statement Thursday that the charges in juvenile court include reckless burning, depositing burning materials on forest lands, criminal mischief and recklessly endangering other persons.

The fire that started Sept. 2 burned 76 square miles (197 sq. kilometers) of forestland, devastating beloved day trails around dozens of crystalline waterfalls.

The charges came after a criminal investigation by the Oregon State Police. The statement said legal proceedings have commenced in the Hood River County Circuit Court where the youth was arraigned.

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