BEND -- A reward for information about who's responsible for a wildfire burning near Bend has been increased to $14,500.
Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Balnton says the increase was the result of a suspicious fire Tuesday near the southern flank of the fire in an area closed to the public.
“We are concerned about our citizens and given the fact this latest fire is suspicious and human caused we need the persons responsible located and held accountable," said Sheriff Larry Blanton.
"Our community has endured trauma as a result of this fire and the taxpayers have been burdened by its cost. Their lives have been disrupted, community services have been disrupted, government agency employees have been exposed to dangerous conditions while working this fire and I truly hope this reward encourages anyone with information to come forward. The public are the eyes and ears to provide information for a successful investigation and effective public safety. Report suspicious activity because if it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t.”
The Two Bulls fire is 40 percent contained after burning 10 square miles of brush and forest. The fire is on the western outskirts of Bend, a popular outdoor recreation area in the central part of Oregon.
The fire started in two locations on Saturday, and threatened hundreds of rural homes.
The reward is for information leading to a conviction or convictions.
Deschutes County and the city of Bend each contributed $5,000. Taylor Northwest, a construction company, added $2,5000, and Cascade Timberlands contributed $2,000.
Anyone with information that could help identify the suspects is asked to contact the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-877-876-8477 (TIPS).