FBI debunks conspiracy theories about Oregon wildfires

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Federal Bureau of Investigation said there is no evidence extremists are starting wildfires in Oregon.

Earlier this week, Medford police said someone created a fake graphic and story to make it look like it was posted by the police department. Police said the fake Facebook posts falsely stated that Medford police arrested several right-wing “Proud Boys” members for starting the fires. Another post said “Antifa” members were arrested. These posts are also completely false.

MPD Lieutenant Mike Budreau said, “These rumors, that are completely false about mass arrests going on, can really take our time away from the investigation. And it can lead people to think something has happened when it hasn’t.”

On Friday, the FBI’s Portland office weighed in on the spreading of misinformation. The bureau released the following statement:

“FBI Portland and local law enforcement agencies have been receiving reports that extremists are responsible for setting wildfires in Oregon. With our state and local partners, the FBI has investigated several such reports and found them to be untrue. Conspiracy theories and misinformation take valuable resources away [from] local fire and police agencies working around the clock to bring these fires under control. Please help our entire community by only sharing validated information from official sources.”

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