Letter for Friday, September 18, 2020

Arsonists should be exposed

I am visiting the dry side of Washington state for a family wedding last weekend. The small wedding was outside because of COVID, so we had to breathe high levels of smoke.

The people who live here know these fires were started by a group of arsonists. Fires do not start themselves. Normally, most are started by lightning strikes, which occur during thunderstorms in random places, usually remote places in the mountains.

These fires were almost all started in the same day, when there were no thunderstorms. The locations of the fires were in small towns and along roads. If these were accidental fires caused by humans (e.g. cigarettes or campfires), they would have occurred at random intervals throughout the hot summer. Since they were all started at once, firefighting resources have been stretched thin. The fires were started during high winds, which made them very difficult to control.

Arson does happen, but I have never heard of more than one arsonist active at a time. In this case, four arsonists have already been arrested and law enforcement is on the trail to arrest more of them.

Antifa, BLM, and other radical left-wing groups have been setting fires in West-Coast cities all summer. They are the obvious suspects to also burn the rural areas.

August was much hotter here, but there were hardly any fires then. The arsonists probably waited until we are closer to the election.

Left-wing Governor Inslee has already tried to score political points off this tragedy by calling these “climate fires.” The left-wing media is providing cover by declaring, in their omniscience, that any suggestion that this team of arsonists is related to Antifa is absolutely false.

The media should expose what happened here. Otherwise, it will continue. The West Coast will be in flames every time we approach another election.

Mark Beeksma, Koloa

30 Comments
  1. Steven McMacken September 18, 2020 3:52 am Reply

    Shame on you, Mark, for spreading false rumors. There is absolutely NO evidence that ANY of the wildfires on the West Coast have been set by so-called Antifa or left-wing extremists. Last week the FBI announced that it could find NO evidence that any of the claims (the ones cited in your letter) was true. Police departments and emergency responders throughout the region are having to work overtime debunking these vicious rumors, and that takes them away from doing their own jobs of trying to put out fires and SAVE LIVES. Your letter is reprehensible.


  2. Ginger Doll September 18, 2020 4:49 am Reply

    Mark,
    You post a letter with accusations against BLM without one shred of evidence, just like Trump does when he denies responsibility for anything bad that happens under his Administration.
    Just this week, FBI Director Chris Wray testified about the threat of White Supremacists to our country and the so-called antifa movement as harmless.
    No one from the leadership our nation’s corrupt National Security agency has made the absurd charges you make here.


  3. Jimmy September 18, 2020 4:52 am Reply

    You sure it wasn’t right wingers trying to burn up the “enemy” (democratic states). Hmmm.


  4. Come on TGI September 18, 2020 4:52 am Reply

    Where is the editorial responsibility? Allowing letters based on such false premises such as this one is unethical, at the very least.


  5. Ruthann jones September 18, 2020 5:12 am Reply

    This smells like a Russian not!!


  6. Stop it! September 18, 2020 5:43 am Reply

    Just stop it! The fires were NOT set by Antifa, BLM or any other so called radical left wing groups!! Do some fact checking before you go regurgitating your QAnon conspiracy theories! The reason Inslee said they are climate fires is because of the increasingly warmer weather, causing the groundcover and other plant life to dry out and become more flammable.


  7. Uncleaina September 18, 2020 6:09 am Reply

    Good point Mark. Wildfire is definitely a political issue. Pretty sure Antifa is causing all the hurricanes too.


  8. james September 18, 2020 6:14 am Reply

    Do you know how ridiculous you sound blaming “left wing radicals” of arson in these rural fires? Why not say something equally as stupid like “Trump hired the Proud Boys to start fires so they could blame it on (fill in the blank)? Most arsonists, if these were in fact arson fires and we don’t know that for certain, do we, are sick individuals who get off on setting fires and are not politically motivated. Another dumb conspiracy theory from Fox news, and I use the term “news” with a kilo of salt.


  9. sheeples September 18, 2020 7:08 am Reply

    Can we have some proof? Why was this an approved letter? Can we just agree that massive capital is just pitting us plebs against each other? Please print more informed letters instead of sowing divisiveness. We are all humans together, have some compassion for everyone, even global capital enslaving us all on this global plantation


  10. Raley Peterson September 18, 2020 7:59 am Reply

    Mark Beeksma is right. Except, that when people subsequently die as a result of this anarchy, the charge should be murder, not arson. Politics be damned!


    1. numilalocal September 18, 2020 6:51 pm Reply

      Where’s your proof? Where’s the evidence? Please be specific and cite sources.


  11. Kurt Last September 18, 2020 8:43 am Reply

    You have accused BLM, “antifa – whatever you think that is – and radical left wing groups of lighting forest fires? Do you have any evidence, of any kind whatever, that indicates that? If you do, have you brought your evidence to the police? Why do you think it’s the job of the “media” to investigate the cause of the fires, instead of law enforcement who actually have that mandate?

    How in the world did you manufacture this theory? WOW!


  12. kyobashi September 18, 2020 9:18 am Reply

    Mark, foxnews just posted an article on 4 people arrested in WA for arson. Foxnews states: “authorities dismissed potential political affiliation”.

    So tell me, Mark, since the law enforcement authorities who are investigating this dismiss political affiliation, what info are you using to come to that conclusion? Or are you just prejudiced against people who support Black Lives Matter?


  13. No hate please September 18, 2020 9:31 am Reply

    Please don’t bring the hate from somewhere else to Kauai. Post this in a Washington state paper. PLEEEASE!


  14. rk669 September 18, 2020 10:11 am Reply

    Poor Forestry Management! Plus some gobal warning Stuffs?


  15. Paulo September 18, 2020 10:38 am Reply

    Mr Beeksma, are you kidding? You make the assumption that multiple fires have been started by Antifa, BLM, and other “radical left-wing” groups based on what? Supposition and your allegiance to trump?

    The unfortunate facts are that arson has long been a problem caused by mentally unstable persons.

    We do know that besides being the most divisive potus ever, trump has done nothing about his “sweeping the forest floors” idea, and most of it is under his jurisdiction as “National” Forest. WA state’s forest is 63.3% national. OR forests are 60% national. CA 57% national. Perhaps you can pass that on to your leader.


  16. George September 18, 2020 12:06 pm Reply

    Werent you the guy who claimed Covid-19 would disappear once the weather got warmer?


  17. Uli Roth September 18, 2020 12:11 pm Reply

    Hahaha ha! I can tell your favorite flavor of kool aid is orange, and your favorite letter is Q


  18. Pete Antonson September 18, 2020 1:16 pm Reply

    Well, well, well, Mark is all in for the home stretch! vague, faceless, and nameless people have been identified as the enemy by his incompetent, disgusting, babyman president and even though they are fellow Americans, he will now blame them for everything including sneaking in and burning his toast this morning! If Mark was a History teacher, today’s lesson would be: “How the Left sank the Titanic, crashed the Hindenburg and stole the Lindbergh baby!” The silliness demonstrated in this evidence free letter is an embarrassment!


  19. ruthann jones September 18, 2020 1:51 pm Reply

    this comment appears to be a Russian bot!


  20. Kauaidoug September 18, 2020 2:58 pm Reply

    Mr Beeksma,. Any proof? Sources? Nothing should be taken for obvious unless you are blindly listening to or following a certain figure. So much disinformation is now on social media, beware.


  21. ok September 18, 2020 3:29 pm Reply

    So since its “obviously” BLM, Antifa, and all the radical left wing groups setting fire to their homes, what is their reasoning? It seems pretty weird that all these groups got together and was like “hmmm you know what sounds like a good idea? lets light our own states on fire!”.

    I mean I’m sure when you hear it on your facebook group, it makes perfect sense, but I’m just not seeing it. For one, if for some reason Antifa wanted to start fires, wouldn’t they go to maybe some bible belt state and light that state on fire? Or is your theory that they are just lazy and somehow think that burning their states, while at the same time donating money to families effected by the fires, will do something?

    Do you actually think that the fires will swing anyone’s vote? People that believe anything that trump says even when his own words contradicting himself in private conversations are probably not going to change their mind. People that literally believe politicians over experts in their field with years of education and experience, are probably not going to change their mind. Instead, these people will probably come up with idiotic conspiracy theories that have more holes in it than a screen door.

    Maybe come up with something that actually makes sense or at least post a fake picture of someone in a BLM shirt lighting these fires. Any actual evidence besides your flawed logic would be nice.


  22. ANDREW CORNISH September 19, 2020 6:05 am Reply

    Aloha from the PNW Mark, your misguided assumption(s) have been debunked by all the organization(s) you have mentioned, and the news media, including NPR, which doesn’t have an axe to grind with either side of the political issue. You are part of the problem, what if you had a lightening strike in your back yard, and throughout the island, igniting fires during a very dry time on the island. Suppose that happened now, and you were sitting in your yard and watched it happen. Who would you blame? There are definitely stupid people who went camping over Labor Day weekend, and these people enhanced an already desperate time for our fire fighters throughout the entire west coast. Think before you spread vicious conspiracies, Drew


  23. Michael Diedrick September 19, 2020 6:35 am Reply

    Update as of September 17th at SNOPES = False.


  24. Hanapaa September 19, 2020 7:52 am Reply

    Internet search for arsonists on west coast

    Arrested For Arson
    Fires September 2020
    9/13/2020 Domingo Lopez Jr – Portland, OR | Brush Fires
    9/12/2020 Natalie Deshazer – Sweet Home, OR | Sweet Home Fires
    9/1/2020 – Elias Newton Pendergrass – Mapleton, OR | Sweet Creek Fires
    9/8/2020 – Robert Karlinski – Hannibal, OR | Structural Fire Marion County, OR
    ​9/9/2020 – Christine Comello – Spokane, WA | Multiple Grass Fires Spokane, WA
    9/11/2020 – Anita Esquivel – Salinas, CA | Highway 101 near Boronda Road Monterey County, CA
    9/9/2020 – Jeffrey Acord – Puyallup, WA | Grass fires SR 512 | Pierce County, WA
    9/9/2020 – name not listed | Grass Fires SR 167 | Pierce County, WA
    9/11/2020 – Jonathan Maas – Springfield, OR | Dexter Fire Lane County, OR
    9/11/2020 – Michael Bakkela – Phoenix, OR | Alemeda Fire, Jackson County, OR
    9/11/2020 – Andrew Lee – Sonora, CA | Attempted Arson, Columbia, CA
    (for updates see http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/information/fire_info.aspx )
    **There are many more active fires with unknown causes not listed below**
    Almeda Fire | 1 arrested Confirmed Human-Caused (under investigation)
    Ashland, Oregon | 600 homes destroyed 3,200 acres 70% contained
    Apple Acres | Under investigation
    Chelan, WA | 5,753 acres 97% contained
    Brattain | Confirmed Human-Caused
    Paisley, OR | 30,151 acres 0% contained
    Cold Springs | under investigation

    Omak, WA | 188,852 acres 34 homes destroyed 50% contained
    Customs Road | Confirmed Human-Caused
    Curlew, WA | 2,208 acres 2 homes destroyed 60% contained
    Echo Mountain Complex | Under Investigation
    Lincoln City, OR | 2,435 acres 100 homes destroyed 25% contained
    Evans Canyon | Under Investigation
    Naches, WA | 75,817 acres 6 homes destroyed 90% contained
    Fish Fire | Under Investigation
    Enumclaw, WA | 141 acres 30% contained
    Grizzly Creek | Confirmed Human-Caused
    Ashland, OR | 325 acres 25% contained

    Holiday Farm | Under Investigation

    McKenzie Bridge, Oregon | 165,023 acres 6% contained

    Inchelium Complex | Under Investigation

    Inchelium, WA | 18,940 acres 48% contained

    Manning Road | Under Investigation

    Colfax, WA | 2,685 acres 3 homes destroyed 90% contained

    North Cascade Complex | Under Investigation

    Mollala, OR | 2,060 acres 0% contained

    Paterson | Under Investigation

    Paterson, WA | 1,300 acres 100% contained

    Riverside | Under Investigation

    Estacada, OR | 134,575 acres 33 homes destroyed 0% contained

    Summer Grade | Under Investigation

    Waller, WA | 494 acres 2 homes destroyed 65% contained

    Thielsen | Under Investigation

    Diamond Lake, OR | 5,973 acres 0% contained

    Whitney | Under Investigation

    Davenport, WA | 125,123 acres 10 homes destroyed 65% contained

    ****UPDATED 9/14/2020 11:17AM PST

    For a fire map click here


    1. JKE September 25, 2020 5:47 pm Reply

      So those fires BLM protesters started in places where they rioted were what, accidental too? I’m saddened most commenters here don’t see the fires for what they really are. I thought y’all were smarter. These are not coincidences. Not weather. Nope.


  25. LTEreader September 19, 2020 9:22 am Reply

    Sept. 10, 2020: “Officials dealing with catastrophic fires on the West Coast have had to counter social media rumors that the blazes were set by antifascist activists, publicly pleading that people verify information before sharing it. Despite their efforts, misinformation about the origin of the fires — which have killed at least 15 people and consumed millions of acres — continues to spread on Facebook and Twitter.
    Officials have said that one of the most devastating fires, the Santiam Canyon blaze east of Salem, was ignited by falling trees that knocked down power lines. The rumors about activist arsonists began to circulate on Wednesday evening after the Portland police tweet about fire risks. Since fire danger is very high right now due to high winds and the current dry climate, fire will spread quickly and could affect many lives, the police tweeted. We ask you to demonstrate peacefully and without the use of fire. Right-wing groups, politicians and social media personalities saw the tweet as evidence that antifa, which has been a regular presence in Portland, must be responsible for the fires up and down the West Coast.”

    That’s how this started. That’s how ridiculous the right is, ready to pounce on any little crumb and twist it for gullible followers like you to share without doing ANY fact checking whatsoever. Shame on them, and shame on you Mark!


  26. truth be known September 19, 2020 2:16 pm Reply

    Mark, you should have stopped at paragraph 4. The rest is pure conjecture.


  27. Lawaibob September 19, 2020 3:54 pm Reply

    Don’t come back.


  28. Dan M September 25, 2020 6:02 pm Reply

    This guy https://heavy.com/news/2020/09/jeffrey-jeff-acord/


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