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Oregon residents illegally stop drivers with guns during forest fire evacuation, sheriff says



Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said several people in the county, in an effort to “protect property,” held armed checkpoints, stopping cars they did not recognize.

“The first thing I would ask them to do is, please stop this,” Roberts told a news conference on Sunday. “It is illegal to stop someone under arms.”

The sheriff’s office has already contacted “a number of them,” he said. Many of the people who entered the area returned to retrieve their personal belongings.

“The last thing I want to see is something tragic to happen because someone is overdoing something,” he said.

Roberts said dispatchers had received a 400 percent increase in county calls for suspicious people since the fires began. Most of them are unfounded, although a small number of arrests have been made, he said.

He did not specify in detail the number of arrests or the nature of the crimes committed.

Disinformation divides residents and employees

As of Friday, at least five fires were burning in Klakamas County, including major fires by the river and Beachy Creek. Most of the county is under evacuation order.

But some residents living in these evacuation zones do not leave their homes and instead stay to “protect”

; their property.

Residents have made homemade signs lining wire fences and foggy yellow streets, all warning robbers that they will be shot.

The inscription reads

“The robbers are being shot,” many of them are threatening.

Facebook says it is removing false allegations about who set fire to forest fires in Oregon
Unfounded reports of robberies and political groups causing intentional damage have divided county officials. At an extraordinary meeting of the county commissioners’ board to decide whether to impose a curfew in Clacamas County, Captain Jeff Smith of the sheriff’s office said a sergeant “on the street” had announced that Antifa members, a broad term for groups of far-left protesters, they were armed with chainsaws and deliberately removed telephone poles to start additional fires.

He also said there were confirmed reports of robberies on the outskirts of the county, although the sheriff’s office did not confirm this publicly.

QAnon fans are spreading false allegations of real Oregon fires

Several board members were skeptical of Antifa’s involvement. Smith said only one sergeant was told by informants that Antifa members were deliberately setting fire, although he presented the information as fact.

Last week, the FBI’s Portland office said “reports that extremists are setting fires in Oregon are wild.” Neighboring Oregon sheriff’s offices have revealed reports that Antifa is deliberately setting fires.
Antifa was recently called in by conservative officials, including President Donald Trump, to be responsible for fires, looting and mischief after months of protests against racism and police brutality. Antifa, abbreviated anti-fascist, refers to a broad group of far-left people who often protest against far-right events, such as the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Members have damaged property in past demonstrations, but allegations that they intentionally caused more damage during crises or natural disasters, such as current forest fires, are unfounded.

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