Sheriff: 'Suspicion of potential arson' in Oregon fires

Sheriff: 'Suspicion of potential arson' in Oregon fires
A helicopter drops water on a hot spot. (Photo by City of Bend via Twitter)

BEND, Ore. - Investigators have not ruled out arson as the cause of the Two Bulls Fire, the local sheriff said.

"The fires are suspicious in nature and the ongoing investigation indicates suspicion of potential arson," Sheriff Larry Blanton said.

The City of Bend and Deschutes County contributed $5,000 apiece to a reward fund, which now stands at $14,500.

"The consequences from these fires could have been catastrophic for the city," said Eric King, Bend city manager. "It's important that we find the cause and who's responsible for starting these fires and a reward contribution from the city is the responsible thing to do."

Anyone with information that could help identify the suspects is asked to contact the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-877-876-8477 (TIPS).

"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," Blanton said.

No homes remain under immediate evacuation orders at this time, but hundreds of homes have been in harm's way since the fire started Saturday. Residents have been allowed to return to the 50 homes on Skyliners Road evacuated since the weekend.

A smaller fire extinguished Tuesday also appears to have been human-caused, the sheriff said.