Man accused of starting fire that merged with the Almeda Fire sentenced

This story has been updated.

MEDFORD, Ore. – The man who pleaded guilty to starting a fire in Phoenix that merged with the Almeda Fire was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Police say Michael Bakkela started a fire west of the railroad tracks and north of Dano Way in Phoenix on September 8, 2020.

Read the Jackson County District Attorney’s statement about the case HERE.

Michael Bakkela pleaded “no contest” to over a dozen counts of arson in court this past Wednesday.

He has not been charged with starting the original Almeda Fire in Ashland earlier that day. Police have not said how that fire started and no one has been charged.

Just before his trial, he entered pleas of “no contest” to 15 charges of criminal mischief and one single arson charge.

The remaining charges were dropped.

On Monday, May 9, Bakkela was sentenced to 11 years behind bars with three years of post-prison supervision.

Skip to content