State Watch

44-year-old man charged with arson in an Oregon fire

Authorities in southern Oregon charged a 44-year-old man, Jason Maas, with first-degree arson after he allegedly started a fire in the woods near the frisbee golf course at Dexter State Recreation Area on Wednesday.

The Lane County sheriff’s office announced the charges on Friday, noting that the fire is not related to the Holiday Farm fire in the McKenzie Valley. 

The Holiday Farm fire is one of the behemoth wildfires raging in Oregon at the moment. Officials announced on Thursday that the fire spread to at least 145,000 acres, according to The Register-Guard.

The fire Maas is suspected of setting was only 5 ft. in diameter, according to the sheriff’s office. 

“The fire was in a wooded area and was approximately 5 feet in diameter before it was extinguished by two people playing frisbee golf in the area,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “A man in a minivan was seen leaving the area shortly before the fire was discovered.”

Deputies arrested Maas on Thursday in relation to the Dexter fire. 

“While this fire was discovered and extinguished before it grew in size, the potential for the fire to have spread quickly was there,” the sheriff’s office said.

“We are thankful for the community members who spotted and extinguished the fire before it was able to hurt anyone or cause any structure damage.”

Though unrelated, the charges against Maas come as wildfires rage on across the West Coast, including Oregon. At least seven people have died from the fires in the state so far, according to the Oregonian.

Tags Arson charges fires Oregon

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