Investigators: BHO lab sparked East Evans Creek Fire

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Investigators have determined the cause of the East Evans Creek Fire north of Gold Hill.

The fire was first reported as a structure fire on the afternoon of August 2 along East Evans Creek Road. Initially, it was reported to be five acres in size. It quickly grew to 155 acres as the Oregon Department of Forestry conducted an extensive air attack in steep terrain.

By August 6, crews reported continuing consistent progress fighting the fire. By August 12, the fire was 95% contained.

On August 13, fire investigators said they determined the East Evans Creek Fire was started by an “illegal marijuana extraction laboratory.”

According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the source of the fire turned out to be a makeshift structure that housed a lab designed to manufacture butane honey oil, a concentrated form of marijuana. The process to create BHO involves flammable solvents to extract the oils from marijuana plants.

A few hours after the East Evans Creek Fire was started, 24-year-old Michael A. Cashmareck from Pennsylvania was arrested on charges related to drug manufacturing and arson.

Anyone with further information about this case is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 541-618-1847.

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