Reward increased to $26,500 in Bend wildfire

Reward increased to $26,500 in Bend wildfire

Reward increased to $26,500 in Bend wildfire

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by Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on June 12, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 12 at 1:17 PM

BEND, Ore. -- A reward for information about who's responsible for a 10-square-mile, human-caused wildfire near Bend, Oregon, has grown to $26,500 after a suspicious blaze broke out nearby on Tuesday in an area closed to the public.

Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton says that new fire was quickly extinguished by helicopter and engine crews after burning a quarter acre. Sheriff's Capt. Shane Nelson announced the new reward total Wednesday afternoon.

The Two Bulls Fire was 55 percent contained by late Wednesday after burning through brush and forest on the western outskirts of Bend, a popular outdoor recreation destination in central Oregon.

Fighting the fire has cost about $4.3 million so far.

Officials increased the reward for information about who's responsible for a 10-square-mile, human-caused wildfire near Bend after a suspicious blaze broke out nearby Tuesday in an area closed to the public.

The boost to $14,500 resulted from the new fire that was quickly extinguished by helicopter and engine crews after burning a quarter-acre, Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton said.

"Given the fact this latest fire is suspicious and human-caused, we need the persons responsible located and held accountable," Blanton said in a statement. "Our community has endured trauma as a result of this fire and the taxpayers have been burdened by its cost."

He said he hopes the reward prompts those with information to come forward.

The Two Bulls Fire was 40 percent contained Wednesday after burning through brush and forest on the western outskirts of Bend, a popular outdoor recreation destination in central Oregon. Fire investigators have said it was human-caused. The last evacuation order affecting 50 homes was lifted Tuesday evening, and the cost of fighting the fire was estimated at $3 million.

It started in two locations Saturday on the western outskirts of the city on private timberland with extensive roads in an area popular for parties. It threatened hundreds of rural homes, as well as recreation areas popular with hikers and mountain bikers.

The reward is for information leading to a conviction, and it had earlier been set at $2,000. Deschutes County and the city of Bend each contributed $5,000; the construction company Taylor Northwest, $2,500; and Cascade Timberlands, $2,000.

"The consequences from these fires could have been catastrophic for the city," Bend City Manager Eric King said.

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