Central Oregon DailyReports: Forest Service ‘burn boss’ arrested for reckless burning in E. Oregon

Reports: Forest Service ‘burn boss’ arrested for reckless burning in E. Oregon

Reports: Forest Service ‘burn boss’ arrested for reckless burning in E. Oregon

Prescribed burn hand lighting torch file

The “burn boss” of a U.S. Forest Service crew that was doing a prescribed burn in Eastern Oregon Wednesday has been arrested on charges of reckless burning. That’s according to multiple reports which say the fire spread to private land.

It happened just north of Seneca in the Malheur National Forest. 

“Last night the Starr 6 burn had a spot fire on private land. It was caught within an hour at approximately 18 acres,” the Malheur National Forest posted on Facebook.

According to a press release by Grant County Sheriff Todd McKinley, obtained by KGW, the burn “escaped USFS lands near mile post two on the Izee Highway north of Seneca, Oregon. It burned approximately 20 acres on private lands belonging to Holliday Ranches.”

McKinley wrote that the fire’s assigned “burn boss” was arrested.

FROM MAY: 500-acre prescribed burn near Sunriver begins Monday

FROM MAY: Prescribed burns in national forests paused for 90 days nationwide

Oregon Public Broadcasting said 39-year-old Ricky Snodgrass confirmed to them he was was arrested, but was waiting to speak to an attorney before commenting further. Other news outlets also confirmed the arrest of Snodgrass.

McKinley wrote that the sheriff’s office and the Forest Service were still determining what led to the fire’s escape.

“There are still a lot of people still to interview and I don’t want to tamper with that or muddy the waters,” McKinley reportedly told the Statesman Journal.

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