MAPLETON, Ore.-- The Oregon Department of Forestry announced Tuesday the Sweet Creek Milepost 2 fire is smaller than first estimated.
Original estimates put the fire at over 500 acres, but after the smoke cleared and crews were able to survey the land better, the fire is now at 382 acres. Fire crews will work through Tuesday night laying more hoses to hot spots and improving fire lines.
Tuesday afternoon, the Lane County Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of a 44-year-old Mapleton man, Elias Pendergrass, for allegedly starting the fire. He was charged with first-degree arson and is currently in the Lane County Jail.
Paige Pruett said she is shocked that her neighbor might have started the blaze.
"'What the hell dude?' That's what I thought," Pruett said. "I don't know what else he needs, but we're here. We have his back no matter what."
Other community members said that Pendergrass was a nice man who helped out his neighbors in need. Pruett said he works at the Mapleton Food Share in town.
When it comes to containment, it is still at 0%. Level 3 evacuation orders are still in place for Hadsall Creek Road and Level 2 is still in place for Sweet Creek Road. Bernhardt and Duncan Island Road are still under a Level 1 evacuation order.