Four have been arrested on suspicion of arson in West Coast areas already under seige from major destructive and deadly blazes, according to reports.
As wildfires continue to rage across three states, police investigated separate incidents near existing wildfires. Two men in Washington state, one man in Oregon and one woman in California are facing charges, according to the Daily Wire.
The latest reports suggest that at least 20 people have died in California, eight in Oregon and one in Washington state as firefighters struggle to contain already deadly fires.
Ashland, Ore., Police Chief Tighe O’Meara announced Thursday that a criminal investigation was opened into the cause of the Almeda fire calling the circumstances around the fire ‘suspicious’.
The fire sparked in Ashland Tuesday and although it mostly spared the Oregon Shakespeare Festival town, the blaze has killed two people and destroyed hundreds of homes.
“We have good reason to believe that there was a human element to it,” O’Meara said, according to Reuters. “We’re going to pursue it as a criminal investigation until we have reason to believe that it was otherwise.”