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Arrest made in Sweet Creek fire burning in Mapleton

On Tuesday, 44-year-old Elias Newton Pendergrass of Mapleton was arrested for first-degree arson.

Posted: Sep 1, 2020 9:45 AM
Updated: Oct 21, 2020 1:29 PM

MAPLETON, Ore. -- The Lane County Sheriff's Office says an arrest has been made in connection to the Sweet Creek fire burning near Mapleton.   

On Tuesday, shortly after 3 p.m., 44-year-old Elias Newton Pendergrass of Mapleton was arrested for first-degree arson. The fire is being forwarded to the Lane County District Attorney's Office for review.

In the meantime, fire officials said the Sweet Creek Milepost 2 fire is completely lined, but still zero percent contained.

"Lined" means a barrier has been stretched around the fire. However, because the line is so narrow, the fire could potentially cross the line.  Current lines are three to ten feet wide.  Ideally, those lines should be fifty to one hundred feet wide.

Firefighters worked throughout the night to try and slow the spread of the fire.

RELATED: MAPLETON WILDFIRE 'A BIG SHOCK TO THE COMMUNITY'

The Oregon Department of Forestry officially took over the fire Monday evening and they are currently working to gather their own data on size and containment.

Local fire officials have estimated the fire to be at 513 acres.

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