Man formally charged for starting a fire during the Almeda Fire

MEDFORD, Ore. – The man accused of starting a fire while the Almeda Fire was already burning has been formally indicted by a grand jury.

The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office said Michael Jarrod Bakkela is accused of starting a fire west of railroad tracks near Dano Way in Phoenix on September 8 as the Almeda Fire was actively destroying nearby neighborhoods.

Bakkela was originally arrested for a probation violation after he was allegedly seen starting the separate fire. On September 15, he was charged with two counts of arson, 15 counts of criminal mischief, 14 counts of reckless endangering, and one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine.

Prosecutors said due to the ongoing investigation, no further information will be released.

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