“It’s a long shot I know,” Arpaio said. “But since we already gather information from them about their U.S. entry points and traveling routes and methods, this is simply one more area of intelligence to explore that may help us to determine the origins of these fires.“
“There is substantial evidence that some of these fires are caused by people who have crossed our border illegally,” he said at a press conference last Saturday. “They have set fires because the want to signal others. They have set fires to keep warm and they have set fires in order to divert law enforcement agents and agencies from them.”
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Az) backed him, up, saying “he is correct.”
Tom Berglund, the Forest Service official in charge of the Wallow blaze, told ABC News that it has been classified as an “escaped campfire.” Asked if there was substantial evidence linking illegal immigrants and the fire, Berglund said, “Absolutely not, at this level.”
“There’s no evidence that I’m aware, no evidence that’s been public, indicating such a thing,” he said.
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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