Accused of starting an Arson fire: Michael Bakkela Biography, Wiki, Facebook
Michael Bakkela is accused of starting an arson fire as Oregon battles devastating wildfires, authorities said. According to Mail Tribune, the blaze that Bakkela is accused of starting “contributed to the spread of what’s now being called the Almeda fire complex.”
— karma (@udontseemecomin) September 9, 2020
Bakkela is being held on a host of charges, including unlawful possession of methamphetamine with prior convictions, 14 charges of reckless endangering, two counts of arson in the first-degree, and 15 counts of criminal mischief in the first-degree. He’s listed as 41 years old. His full name is Michael Jarrod Bakkela.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon announced the arrest of Michael Bakkela on September 11.
“The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office announces that a suspect has been arrested on arson and other charges related to a fire that started during the Almeda fire in the Phoenix, Oregon railroad area,” wrote the authorities. “This case is separate from the Almeda Fire investigation, but the investigations have been a joint effort of members of the Major Assault Deaths Investigation Unit, including the JCSO, Oregon State Police, Medford Police, and the Ashland Police “.
The department identified the suspect “MICHAEL JARROD BAKKELA; Date of birth 12/9/78, local transitory “.
Police Officer Shot Dead: Ryan Hendrix Biography, Wiki, Age, Family, Net Worth, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
The press release says he faces charges of “arson I two counts, criminal mischief I fifteen counts, recklessness jeopardizing 14 counts.”
Officials said the case “began at 1709 hours at 090820 in the 1100 block of Quail Lane at the Barnum Drive exit between Highway 99 and the tracks.”
At the time, “911 received a call reporting that residents witnessed Bakkela lighting a fire behind his home on Quail Lane. Due to the imminent fire, the witnesses had to flee their homes and could not be interviewed immediately ”.
When authorities arrived, “Bakkela was standing near a very large fire that threatened several houses,” the statement said.
Michael Jarrod Bakkela Facebook
Pending completion of the arson investigation, “Bakkela initially was lodged on a Probation Violation detainer on an original charge of Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, more than 2 ounces,” the release said.
He has multiple past felony convictions since 2005, mostly for methamphetamine possession, according to court records.
“Bakkela remains lodged at the Jackson County Jail. The case has been referred to the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office.”
According to Mail Tribune, the fire authorities believe Bakkela set “damaged 15 properties, threatened the lives of 14 people in nearby neighborhoods and contributed to the Almeda fire.” The site says the Almeda fire has “two points of origin,” the one in Phoenix and one in Ashland, with Bakkela not having involvement in the latter.
His Facebook page contains a selfie and nothing else visible.
My heart breaks for my beautiful state. This is the devastation I’m seeing today—left behind by these unprecedented wildfires. Blocks of homes and businesses, hopes and dreams, pasts and future, all decimated. pic.twitter.com/roYsDyKrBO
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) September 12, 2020
In 2013, Bakkela made the Mail Tribune when he was accused of “trying to break into a house in a 55-and-older community.”
The story said Bakkela, then 34, was accused of “attempted burglary, possession of methamphetamine, second-degree trespass and criminal mischief, as well as a probation violation.”
That story says police suspected that he cut a screen to try to get inside a house but the woman inside called 911. She was sleeping when she heard a “suppressed cough” and saw a man standing at her door.
Police told the newspaper that Bakkela claimed he didn’t know where he was but also said he was looking for his girlfriend.
According to KTVZ-TV, the Almeda fire “has burned more than 3,500 acres, destroyed some 600 homes and was 20% contained by Friday” September 11. It was later reported that the fire was 50% contained.
There’s a separate investigation into its cause, though.
According to Oregon Live, two people have been found dead because of the Almeda fire.
— Rogue Duck (@duck_rogue) September 10, 2020