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.
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.