Jackson County Sheriff, Sheriff Nathan Sickler, announced charges today against 41-year-old Michael Jarrod Bakkela relating to at least one portion of the devastating Almeda fire.
According to the Sheriff, Bakkela was arrested and charged with 2 counts of Arson, 15 counts of Criminal Mischief (1) and 14 counts of Reckless Endangering.
These charges are in relation to the Almeda Fire and its origin point in the Pheonix area, it does not include the additional point of origin in Ashland.
On Tuesday, authorities responded to reports of suspicious activity and a man starting a fire near Quail Lane and Barnum Drive in Pheonix.
Upon their arrival, deputies found Bakkela standing near a large fire that was threatening nearby homes. Bakkela was arrested on suspicion of starting the fire and held for violation of probation. Further investigation led to his being charged.
This is a developing story -- more information will continue to be provided.