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Central Point fire believed to have been human caused

We’ve seen the news reports that a Phoenix portion of the Almeda fire appears to have been started intentionally, but is there any information about how the Central Point fire started?

— Kevin E., via email

A fire that caused a wave of evacuations in Central Point Sept. 8 is believed to have been a rekindling of a suspicious fire that broke out along the Bear Creek Greenway the same day that the Almeda fire started, according to Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau.

Medford police, who are handling the Central Point area fire investigation, are proceeding on the belief that the fire could have been set intentionally because they found evidence that fires had been set in multiple locations along the Bear Creek Greenway in Medford and Central Point.

“They were all right along the bike path,” Budreau said, adding that the fires were set during the height of the high winds and low humidity that prompted a red flag fire weather warning that day.

Budreau said the fires could have started small, describing potential sources of ignition in the suspicious fire as anything from a match, to a lighter to a lit cigarette.

“It wouldn’t take much for someone to start those fires,” Budreau said.

The following afternoon, a fire near an Interstate 5 overpass on Table Rock Road prompted Level 3 “Go” evacuations and I-5 closures. Budreau said investigators believe the fire was a rekindling of the previous day’s fire because of the police presence in the area at the time.

“We had detectives on scene when they spotted the smoke,” Budreau said.

As of Friday, police didn’t have any suspects in the Central Point area fire, according to Budreau.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501 or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.