January 18, 2014
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
A 20-year old Curry County resident was arrested Friday afternoon following an investigation into a fire set in dry grass along the ocean shore in the Langlois-area along the southern Oregon coast. The fire burned at least an estimated 8 acres while several fire responders worked to put it out.
On January 17, 2014 at approximately 3:51 p.m., an OSP trooper and local firefighters responded to a reported fire along the beach reportedly set by a male suspect who fled the scene to his nearby residence. Witnesses followed the suspect, identified as ANDREW JOSE BERNTSEN, age 20, and notified police where the he fled to.
Preliminary investigation indicates BERNTSEN set the grass on fire with a lighter but fled the scene after not being able to put the fire out as it spread. Firefighters from BLM, Coos Forest Protective Association, Sixes Rural Fire Protection Department, and Langlois Rural Fire Protection District responded to the scene. The investigating trooper estimated the grass fire burned approximately 8 acres before leaving with the suspect while fire crews continued suppression efforts. The fire did not appear to endanger any nearby structures.
BERNTSEN was arrested and lodged in the Curry County Jail for Reckless Burning and Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree. Senior Trooper David Wehner is the lead investigator.
Questions about fire damage and suppression efforts should be directed to BLM or one of the other listed agencies.
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