Skip to Content
Fire Alert

USFS law enforcement has person in custody in several human-caused fires near Horse Butte


BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers have a person in custody in connection with four human-caused fires discovered by a resident and tackled at small sizes Sunday near Horse Butte, about nine miles southeast of Bend, officials said Monday.

No other details were released about the suspect or possible charges, other than that the investigation is still active and there is no further threat to the area.

Three engine crews and a water tender were en route before 9 a.m. Sunday to the report of new fire starts near Horse Butte. An initial-attack aircraft also was called in to assist crews on the ground. The Forest Service assured residents there was no threat to homes in the area, although smoke might be visible.

The fires, grouped as Incident 949, were contained by about noon, officials said.

A resident of the Sundance subdivision posted on the social media app Nextdoor that she reported the fires, having found “four different piles all burning in a row,” about 100 feet apart, between Horse Butte Road and Swamp Wells Trail, off the Coyote Loop.

“Seems like they had to be intentionally set, with how wet everything still is from the rain on Friday,” she added.

Meanwhile, crews on Monday tackled two small fires near East Butte on the Deschutes National Forest, one a half-acre blaze in the Fort Rock area, east of Paulina Peak and China Hat Campground. Officials said one of the fires was confirmed to have been caused by lightning and the other was believed to have been as well.

Central Oregon / Crime And Courts / Fire / Government-politics / Local News / News / Top Stories

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.



  1. I am at a loss for words.
    But this only reinforces by “belief” that many of the fires every summer are intentionally started for a greater agenda (and NO I am NOT a “conspiracist “kind” of person).
    This is an illness of the brain and has been spreading since the 80’s trend of “going postal”,then mail bombs,then Anthrax,then mass shootings and now fires.
    Im going out on a limb here and guessing it’s to push for “climate change”(gawd I hate using that term)agenda.

    Just once I would like to face a person doing what they were at Horse Butte or anywhere THEN call authorities.
    Come-on people,there are better things in life to do than making it miserable for the rest of us.

  2. These are Measure 11 arson crimes, so once the federal government gets done processing the individual, they need to be put into a no-bail jail setting until the trial date. And then the Measure 11 arson conviction needs to be served consecutively…

    1. I sure do hope this is a measure 11. And I wish the entire story would be told. My boyfriend and I called in these fires at 4:30 that morning. I wont get into what it took to get them to even send someone out. They cited this man for having a “campfire”. Then sent him on his way. That afternoon, my boyfriend could see this guy sitting out in the trees facing our direction. Like he was watching us. After awhile my boyfriend had to run some errands. He wasn’t gone 5 minutes when I heard the guy pull up in his pickup. He started screaming threats at me. Then used his truck to destroy everything of ours he could. He then rammed our fifth wheel with his truck. Knowing I was inside. Not knowing I was on the phone with 911 when he did. It took police 4hours to get him to surrender.

Leave a Reply

Skip to content