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(SF GATE) – A U.S. Forest Service employee in Oregon was arrested this week by a county sheriff after a planned burn in a national forest spread onto private land.
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It was the latest episode that underscores simmering tensions over management of federal lands in rural, conservative eastern Oregon. That tension exploded into the 2016 takeover by armed right-wing extremists of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, 300 miles (480 kilometers) southeast of Portland. One of the extremist leaders was killed by law enforcement officers at a roadblock.
Rick Snodgrass, the U.S. Forest Service “burn boss,” was arrested Wednesday and transported to the Grant County Jail, where he was conditionally released, District Attorney Jim Carpenter said in a statement.