‘Stop spreading rumors’: Emergency officials say rumors of extremist groups starting wildfires aren’t true
MEDFORD, Or. — Wildfires burning around the northwest are fueling conspiracy theories. Some people believe they were started by groups on the far-left and right.
Officials in Oregon say there’s no evidence of that.
Those rumors spread just like wildfire and now 911 dispatchers and professional staff are being overrun with requests for information and inquiries on an untrue rumor that Antifa members have been arrested for setting fires in Douglas County.
Someone used the Medford Police logo to create a fake graphic claiming five people were arrested for a string of fires.
Medford Police responded saying they did not arrest that person for arson, nor anyone affiliated with Antifa or the Proud Boys, adding no gatherings of Antifa have been reported.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon also says the rumors are false, and nothing more than gossip. They’re asking people not to re-post unverified information saying rumors make the job of protecting the community more difficult.
What’s true is that a handful of people have been arrested for starting fires intentionally. However, there’s no evidence that they were working together, or part of a radical group.
Washington State troopers say a 36-year-old Puyallup man was arrested for setting a fire along a busy highway. Jeff Acord live streamed his own arrest on Facebook.
Spokane Police arrested a woman for starting two fires, which were quickly put out. Police say they found a lighter and burnt paper in Christine Comello’s pockets.
Deputies in Multnoma County, Oregon are still searching for the person who started a brush fire on Friday using fireworks. “We are at a loss for words,” the department said on Twitter.
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