Teen suspected in devastating Oregon wildfire

Witness says teen using fireworks caused fire

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Oregon State Police have identified a 15-year-old Vancouver teen as a suspect in starting the Eagle Creek Fire.

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Police believe the suspect and others may have used fireworks that started the fire Saturday. Police say they contacted the teen suspect in the parking lot of Eagle Creek Trail on Saturday night and interviewed him.

The wildfire, which started along the Eagle Creek trail, has burned more than 10,000 acres and forced evacuations of approximately 400 homes.

The information released by police matches descriptions from multiple witnesses who have spoken with the media in the days since the start of the fire.

One witness, Kevin Marnell, told KGW he heard a firework go off when he was hiking the trail Saturday. He also sent a video to KGW of officers speaking with a group of teenagers on Saturday night near the trailhead.

WATCH: Witness Kevin Marnell speaks with KGW

The video of officers interviewing the teenagers was also shared on YouTube. Watch the full video.

Another witness, Liz FitzGerald, told Oregon Public Broadcasting that she saw young hikers laugh as they threw a firecracker into the Eagle Creek Canyon.

The investigation is ongoing. Police say no arrests or charges have been made and they will not be releasing the identity of the suspect at this time.

Witnesses, people with information about the cause of the fire, or anyone who heard fireworks or explosions in the area of the Eagle Creek Trail and Punch Bowl Falls between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday are asked to come forward to speak with OSP. They can be reached at 503-375-3555.

The United States Forest Service, Hood River District Attorney's Office, U.S. Attorney's Office and Hood River Juvenile Department are assisting OSP in the investigation.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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