Chris Collins
The Baker City Herald

Authorities are considering charges against a woman who admitted starting a fire that destroyed two structures and burned 3 acres along the Snake River Road on July 7.

The fire started on property along Brownlee Reservoir near Conner Creek, said Lt. Jef Van Arsdall of the Baker County Sheriff’s Office. It burned a single-wide mobile home and a shop on the property, which is owned by Jerry Harman, whose address is listed as 36323 Snake River Road, the site of the fire.

Erin Bartlett, 33, of La Junta, Colorado, and several other people had been staying on the property, Van Arsdall said.

Bartlett told Deputy Chad Mills that she was inside her van when she lit a piece of sage on fire to create smoke as part of a “cleansing ritual.” She tossed the sage out the window of the vehicle and it landed in dry grass. The fire spread to the structures, Van Arsdall said.

“It completely engulfed the single-wide trailer and the shop,” he said.

Mills stopped Bartlett for questioning when he saw her driving away from the area.

John Robertson, 29, was traveling with Bartlett in the van when the deputy stopped them. Robertson is not a suspect in the investigation, Van Arsdall said.

The fire started about 6:30 p.m. on July 7. The Huntington Fire Department responded and worked to put the fire out, Van Arsdall said.

Sheriff’s Department reports have been forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of possible charges, Van Arsdall said.

20766370