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Charges pending in 2019 Sams Valley wildfire

Whatever happened to that guy who was charged with causing a wildfire near Sams Valley last summer because of a pot lab?

— Chris, via email

Michael A. Cashmareck, 25, is in the Jackson County Jail awaiting trial on felony arson and marijuana charges accusing him of starting the East Evans Fire with an Aug. 2 explosion while allegedly making the concentrated marijuana extract known as butane honey oil.

The East Evans fire prompted mandatory evacuations in the Sams Valley area and led to the injury of at least one wildland firefighter. Police said at the time of Cashmareck’s arrest that the fire started while Cashmareck was allegedly mixing marijuana with butane.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office detectives said they seized approximately 1,700 pounds of marijuana from the site on East Evans Creek Road, according to a document filed by the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office last August. Detectives sought to destroy the evidence on grounds that it was hazardous to store.

Other items seized from the property included a butane can, a metal pot, a glass measuring cup, multiple glass jars, a box of syringes and a notebook containing financial records.

Cashmareck was originally charged with two counts of first-degree arson incidental to the manufacture of a cannibinoid extract and a felony charge of unlawfully manufacturing a marijuana extract. In September, a grand jury added a third arson charge along with a felony count of third-degree assault.

On Thursday, Cashmareck’s defense lawyers requested to move his next court appearance to April 6 on grounds that they are still awaiting a report from an arson expert, and aren’t prepared to proceed without the report.

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