'Suspicious' fires in Corvallis park, near Oregon State campus under investigation

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Investigators are looking into a series of small fires in a public park and along railroad tracks near the Oregon State campus, the City of Corvallis said.

"These fires are being treated as suspicious and are currently being investigated through a joint effort between the Corvallis Police and Fire Departments as well as Oregon State Police," the City said in a statement.

The day started Thursday with a report of a fire in Pioneer Park in Corvallis.

Firefighters found "a couple small fires near the foot and bike paths running through the park," according to the city. "Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fires before they had a chance to grow in size."

While firefighters were still on scene dealing with those fires, reports came in about two more small fires west of the intersection of 35th and Washington Way.

That's not far from Reser Stadium.

"As the location of these fires were just behind Corvallis Fire Station 2, crews were able to reach and extinguish the fires before they had a chance to spread as well," the city said in a statement.

"As witnessed by the number and magnitude of the fires that are occurring around the state and country it is very evident that any fire in a vegetated area has the potential to become a very serious and dangerous event given the prolonged hot and dry conditions, this presents a significant risk to land, property, residents and firefighters," the city said in a statement. "Please help our community stay safe by eliminating careless or intentional fires in these high risk vegetation areas. Cease any form of open flame in vegetated areas, manage and educate your youth and small children to do the same, and immediately report any risky or criminal behavior involving fire by calling 9-1-1."

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