17 and 18-year old boys were arrested Friday and charged with arson and possession of illegal fireworks after shooting Roman Candles from a moving vehicle and starting a brush fire near Salmon Falls County Park in Marion County, Oregon, deputies reported.
According to a news release, the 17-year old juvenile and Shawn Scofield of Salem had been swimming at Three Pools Recreation Site in the Willamette National Forest and were driving south on Little North Fork Road when the juvenile passenger allegedly shot the fireworks out of the car window.
A brush fire began along the roadway, with flames reaching over two feet high. Witnesses informed a US Forest Service law enforcement officer who responded to the scene and assisted in controlling the fire. Other responding agencies included fire personnel with the Oregon Department of Forestry and Elkhorn Valley Fire Station. There was no estimate given as to the extent of acreage involved.
Marion County Forest Patrol deputies in the area were advised of the suspects’ vehicle description, and located the pair about nine miles away. The two were arrested and charged with first-degree arson and possession of illegal fireworks, deputies said.
In addition to the Roman Candles, numerous other illegal fireworks, reportedly purchased in Vancouver, Washington, were seized.
“If the fire had not controlled quickly, several homes, youth camps, private and public forest lands in the area would have been in jeopardy,” the news release stated. The investigation is continuing.