PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police have arrested a Central Oregon man accused of starting a wildfire that burned a Klamath County cabin and forced the temporary evacuation of about 120 homes.
Kelly Parker, 30, of La Pine pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon to charges of first-degree arson and reckless burning. A judge set bail at $25,000 and Parker, who was assigned an attorney, remained in the county jail, District Attorney Rob Patridge said.
Authorities believe Parker and another person were living on lands administered by the federal Bureau of Land Management and left a fire unattended, said Lisa Clark of the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center.
The 330-acre Stagecoach fire started Monday afternoon near Gilchrist in the northern part of Klamath County. Firefighters reported progress and residents were allowed to return home by late Monday night.
That fire was reported 10 percent contained by Tuesday evening, Clark said.
There were no injuries. Bend television station KTVZ reported that the burned vacation cabin was unoccupied.
Elsewhere, a 40-mile stretch of the lower Deschutes River was reopened to rafting and camping Tuesday evening after being closed earlier in the day due to concerns about another wildfire.
The river segment was closed after flames from the fire on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation burned to the river’s edge, causing concern for the safety of rafters pulling in at campsites for the evening, Clark said.
The fire that began Saturday has burned nearly 35 square miles of grass, sagebrush and juniper on the lightly populated reservation east of the Cascade Range.
That fire was 20 percent contained Tuesday night, a wildfire information website reported.
So far, only one abandoned structure has been reported burned, and nobody has been seriously injured. The fire has been blamed on an unspecified human cause.
Associated Press writer Tim Fought contributed to this report.
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