MAPLETON, Ore. – A suspect has been arrested in connection with the Sweet Creek fire near Mapleton.
Elias Newton Pendergrass, 44, of Mapleton will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday on a charge of first-degree arson in Lane County Circuit Court. He was arrested just after 3 p.m. on Tuesday, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office said.
The case is being forwarded to the Lane County District Attorney’s Office for review. Detectives for Lane County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police collaborated on the case.
The Sweet Creek Milepost 2 Fire has now been downsized from 513 acres to 382 as better estimates of the size become available. Steep terrain, smoky conditions and dense vegetation made it difficult to accurately map the size of the fire, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.