SEATTLE — Raging wildfires in the Pacific Northwest have fueled a barrage of false information this week as unsubstantiated social media posts blamed coordinated groups of arsonists from both the far left and far right for setting the blazes.
Officials turned to Facebook on Wednesday and Thursday to squash competing narratives – some posts blamed far-left antifa activists and others said the far-right group the Proud Boys were responsible for fires that have scorched wide swaths of Oregon and Washington state.
“Remember when we said to follow official sources only,” the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon posted. “Remember when we said rumors make this already difficult incident even harder? Rumors spread just like wildfire and now our 9-1-1 dispatchers and professional staff are being overrun with requests for information and inquiries on an UNTRUE rumor that 6 Antifa members have been arrested for setting fires in DOUGLAS COUNTY, OREGON.”
As fires heavily damaged the small Oregon towns of