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November 29 2020
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Arsonist faces more than 100 years in jail for starting massive Oregon fire that killed two and destroyed homes
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AN accused arsonist is facing more than 100 years of jail time after allegedly setting alight a catastrophic fire that killed several people and destroyed thousands of homes in Oregon.

Michael Jarrod Bakkela, 41, has been arrested on two counts of arson, 16 counts of criminal mischief, and 14 counts of reckless endangerment. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 134 years behind bars.

He is next listed to appear in court in December.

The fire Bakkela allegedly started was believed to be one of the origins of the Almeda fire and the two quickly merged in September, said Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office spokesman Rich Tyler.

It killed two people, destroyed a thousand homes and laid waste to 5700 acres.

Photos show the towns of Phoenix and Talent reduced to ashes after the Almeda fire tore through.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office previously said that a Phoenix resident saw a person, who was later identified as Bakkela, lighting a fire behind their house.