Forest Service backs arrested ‘burn boss’

By Marc Heller
E&E Greenwire
October 24, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Forest Service is defending the manager of a prescribed fire that went astray in Oregon, resulting in the employee’s arrest by a local sheriff. Rick Snodgrass, 39, was arrested on a charge of reckless burning after the prescribed fire on the Malheur National Forest on Oct. 19 jumped a road and spread onto a nearby ranch in Bear Valley, Ore., where local officials said it burned about 20 acres before being extinguished. “In my opinion, this arrest was highly inappropriate under these circumstances, and I will not stand idly by without fully defending the Burn Boss and all employees carrying out their official duties as federal employees,” Chief Randy Moore said in a message to agency employees. “This employee should not have been singled out, and we are working to address these unfortunate circumstances on their behalf,” Moore said. …The incident touches on the sensitive publicity around prescribed burning…

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