Four Arrested For Suspected Arson, Intentionally Setting Wildfires In California, Oregon, Washington

We knew it was happening. Now it’s being confirmed. This should be an automatic life sentence. People are dying, homes & businesses are burning, and we’re choking on thick smoke & ash in areas not even near the fires. On Thursday I reported about a man suspected of starting a fire in Washington state. Enough is enough. Put these people away forever.

“At least four people have been arrested on suspicion of arson in incidents connected to the massive wildfires now blazing across the western United States, according to authorities in California, Oregon, and Washington.

Michael Jarrod Bakkela, a transient living in the Oregon woods, was arrested late this week “on two counts of arson, 15 counts of criminal mischief and 14 counts of reckless endangerment,” according to Oregon Live. Bakkela is allegedly responsible for setting one of two major wildfires in Oregon; the fires have now merged, killing at least 24 people, leaving hundreds homeless, and torching at least 5,700 acres of precious forest land.

Michael Jarrod Bakkela

Bakkela’s alleged fire is likely responsible for the deaths of at least two people, according to Oregon authorities.

The California Highway Patrol arrested a 37-year-old woman, Anita Esquivel, for intentionally starting several blazes along Highway 101, according to KION Los Angeles. Police do not yet have a motive for Esquivel’s alleged arson, but they do not believe she is connected to any Antifa-type organization.

The Washington State Patrol tweeted on Thursday that they nabbed two suspected firebugs setting small fires in dry grass at the intersection of two state highways.

Although Puyallup, Washington, police and Washington State Troopers have yet to confirm that a third arrest in Washington state is connected to wildfires there, local news reports that the two organizations arrested an individual with the same name as a man who posted a Facebook Live earlier this week claiming to have started a “large brush fire” that shut down another state highway.

Sacramento Enveloped in Smoke from CA Fires

Smoke from California fires choking downtown Sacramento right now. Just shot this with a drone. It's the worst I've ever seen it. Our air quality is at 294 US AQI, very unhealthy. I got a headache just being out for a few minutes. Air quality will become hazardous over the weekend.

Posted by Jeff Rainforth on Friday, September 11, 2020

Fires in Oregon, Washington, and California continue to rage Saturday, though authorities in all three states say that better, cooler weather expected this weekend will aid in getting some of the blazes under control. Around half a million people have been displaced in Oregon, per CNN, and tens of thousands are evacuating in Washington and California.

“As of Thursday, more than 100 wildfires across 12 Western states burned more than 4.3 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center,” per CNN. “That’s nearly 7,000 square miles, or roughly the size of New Jersey.”

A number of false reports surfaced this week, pinning several fires on “antifascist activists”—reports that, the FBI says, turned out to be untrue upon investigation by federal, state, and local authorities, despite a flood of reports.

Those rumors are believed to have stemmed from a tweet from the Portland, Oregon, police department warning protesters, who have been holding protests in the city every night for the past three months. The Portland PD warned demonstrators earlier this week that setting fires could lead to much larger, more destructive blazes.

“To those attending the demonstration tonight: Keep in mind the immediate risk the use of fire poses to community members. Since fire danger is very high right now due to high winds and the current dry climate, fire will spread quickly and could affect many lives,” the department noted on Tuesday.

“We’re not seeing any indications of a mass politically influenced arson campaign,” the Oregon Department of Forestry confirmed to The New York Times.”

Jeff Rainforth is a freelance photographer & news editor covering events on the US/Mexico border, and riots & unrest in Democrat-run cities.
Like Jeff on Facebook HERE
Follow him on Twitter HERE
Subscribe to Jeff’s YouTube channel HERE

Facebook Comments
About Jeff Rainforth 558 Articles
Jeff covers border news in the US and has traveled around the world documenting the border walls and counter-terrorism efforts of other countries. He runs the Rainforth Report on Substack. In 2022 Jeff embarked on a border crisis tour, documenting cartel trafficking of drugs and humans. The year before he was contracted to film on the border with Ben Bergquam of America's Voice News and also for Women Fighting for America. Jeff was the videographer for the March for Trump bus tour which crossed the country twice and ended on January 6th, 2021 in DC at the Capitol. He filmed the events that took place at the Capitol Building. Jeff was the videographer and news editor for We Build the Wall, the organization founded by triple-amputee vet hero Brian Kolfage. He was the sole photographer allowed to be on site to document the construction of the first ever privately built border wall. Jeff has worked on Kolfage's projects since 2015. Steve Bannon sent Jeff to embed with the Hong Kong protesters, covering their fight for freedom against the Chinese Communist Party, and regularly films inside of riots in Democrat-run cities in the United States. Bannon also sent Jeff to film for a documentary on border walls in mainland China as COVID was about to emerge from the country. Bannon and Kolfage then sent Jeff to film walls and counter-terrorism efforts in Thailand, Malaysia, Israel by the Gaza Strip, Hungary & Serbia, France, Spain, and north Africa. As of 2022 Jeff is an editor at Populist Press and other news sites. Jeff did a special 2nd Amendment project for Navy SEAL Rob O'Neill who killed Bin Laden, and he was the national rally organizer to free Marine Sgt. Tahmooressi from the Mexican prison. He is chairman emeritus of Ross Perot’s Reform Party of California, and a former candidate for governor. He wrote for former war correspondent & Breitbart contributor, Pat Dollard, and headed up his 30-person research team. Mr. Rainforth also wrote for the Wayne Dupree Show. Jeff is a two-time nominee for the prestigious Blog Bash Award for best activism for organizing the national movement to form a select committee on Benghazi, and for his role as the national rally organizer to free Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi from Mexican imprisonment. Jeff appears in Sgt. Tahmooressi's mother's book, "When Light Prevails."

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*