Oregon: Teenager Under Investigation For Starting Wildfire

This Monday, Sept. 4, 2017, photo provided by KATU-TV shows a wildfire as seen from near Stevenson Wash., across the Columbia River, burning in the Columbia River Gorge above the Bonneville Dam near Cascade Locks, Ore. A lengthy stretch of highway Interstate 84 remains closed Tuesday, Sept. 5, as crews battle the growing wildfire that has also caused evacuations and sparked blazes across the Columbia River in Washington state. (Tristan Fortsch/KATU-TV via AP)

Police say a teenager is now under investigation for starting a wildfire with fireworks. The fire has burned more than 30,000 acres and emergency teams are still working on controlling it.

Police say the fire began when the teenager set off fireworks on a forest trail on Saturday. An Oregon state police spokesman confirmed the news by saying that they are confident that the fire was started by a firework. He also revealed that the teenager under investigation is a 15-year-old male from Washington.

The fire continues to burn and authorities have decided to close a highway in the area. Emergency teams have been working on controlling the fire since late Saturday but yesterday, it joined with another fire that began a few weeks back.

Hundreds of firefighters are working on stopping the fire in the area, which is a popular place among residents and tourists. One witness says she saw the teen throw a firework into a ravine. The witness says the teen was with other teens and young adults and added that one of them was filming it. The witness saw smoke minutes later and went to contact a forest officer. The two then followed the minivan of the group and the witness was told by the officer that the teens had confessed after they were stopped.

The police spokesman said they interviewed people, including the teenager that threw the firework. The spokesman did not confirm the story about the teens confession when the group was stopped.

The situation is critical in the area as the fire is out of control. On Wednesday, a National Forest Service field ranger said the fire was at 0 percent containment. The situation has forced residents in nearby areas to evacuate. Authorities have not charged the teenager but he is under investigation. The police spokesman also said that several people had contacted them.