Forest Service Boss Decries Arrest Of Worker In Planned Burn In Oregon
FILE - This Dec. 7, 2016 photo, shows the entrance to the Malheur National Forest near John Day, Ore. Rick Snodgrass, the U.S. Forest Service “burn boss,” was arrested Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, by a county sheriff after a planned burn at Malheur National Forest spread onto private land. He was conditionally released. Prescribed burns are set intentionally and under carefully controlled conditions to clear underbrush, pine needle beds and other surface fuels that make forests more prone to wildfires. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – The head of the U.S. Forest Service has denounced the arrest by an Oregon sheriff of a Forest Service employee after a planned burn in a national forest spread onto private land.

Rick Snodgrass, the U.S. Forest Service “burn boss,” was arrested on Oct. 19 and transported to the Grant County Jail, where he was conditionally released.

Grant County Sheriff Todd McKinley handcuffed Snodgrass before he was taken away, even as Snodgrass’ crew was working on the fire.

Randy Moore, chief of the U.S. Forest Service, said the arrest was highly inappropriate under the circumstances.

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