FACT CHECK: Were 6 Antifa Activists Arrested For Arson In Douglas County, Oregon?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

A  post shared on Facebook claims the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has six antifa activists in custody for setting wildfires in Oregon.

Verdict: False

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office debunked the post’s claim in a statement. The FBI office in Portland has said claims that “extremists” started the Oregon wildfires are “untrue.”

Fact Check:

Oregon is currently facing numerous wildfires that have burned over 1 million acres and killed at least 10 people, according to The Oregonian. While it’s still unclear how all the fires started, authorities said the Almeda Fire is being investigated as arson, the outlet reported.

A viral Facebook post claims the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has six antifa activists in custody for arson related to the state’s wildfires. “Pallet Company in Oregon City confirmed Antifa arsonist on camera,” the post reads. “Douglas County Sheriff has 6 ANTIFA arsonists in custody. Many fires in Oregon. Obviously there are more to track down and arrest.”

While there was a fire at the pallet company American Pallets, just north of Oregon City on Sept. 8, the company told the Daily Caller News Foundation that it does not have video evidence indicating that the fire was set by antifa activists.

“We do not have any videos of anyone starting the fire,” Amanda Grende, a spokesperson for American Pallets, told the DCNF in an email. “We do not know where or how it started.”

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office released a statement on Facebook debunking the claim that it arrested six antifa activists for setting fires in the county. The statement reads, “Rumors spread just like wildfire and now our 9-1-1 dispatchers and professional staff are being overrun with requests for information and inquiries on an UNTRUE rumor that 6 Antifa members have been arrested for setting fires in DOUGLAS COUNTY, OREGON. THIS IS NOT TRUE!”

In an email to the DCNF, Capt. Timothy Fox of the Oregon State Police said that “none of that is true” in regards to the arrest of six antifa activists. The FBI office in Portland also released a statement Sept. 11 on Twitter saying they investigated claims about “extremists” setting wildfires in Oregon and found them to be “untrue.”

The investigation of the Almeda Fire has shown no ties to antifa activists, according to Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara. (RELATED: Have 183 People Been Arrested For Deliberately Starting The Australian Wildfires?)

“One thing I can say is that the rumor it was set by Antifa is 100% false information,” O’Meara told The Oregonian. “We have some leads and none of it points in that direction.”

The rumor appears to have originated with a Sept. 9 tweet from Paul Romero, a former Republican senatorial candidate in Oregon, that is nearly identical to the Facebook post.

“Oregon is on fire!” Romero tweeted. “Pallet Company in Oregon City confirmed Antifa arsonist on camera. Douglas County Sheriff has 6 ANTIFA arsonists in custody. Many fires in Oregon. Obviously there are more to track down and arrest. Governor Kate Brown built this.”

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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