Agencies investigate if military training set Oregon fires

Remains of incendiary flare found at burn site

PLUSH, Ore. (AP) - Federal and state agencies are investigating if there was a link between a string of wildfires in southeastern Oregon and military training exercises going on in the same area.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports ( ) that federal officials believe the seven small fires that ignited last week could have been connected because they were all attributed to human activity.

In addition, the state Department of Forestry states that remains of an incendiary flare used in the military training exercises was found at one of the burn sites. The Oregon National Guard agreed to suspend the use of the flares after investigators contacted officials.

Brett Fay, assistant regional fire management coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says fire investigations are regular, but last week's concentration of ignitions was "pretty rare."

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