Officials battle online misinformation along with wildfires
By ALI SWENSON Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — Emergency responders in the Pacific Northwest are fighting misinformation along with raging wildfires as people spread unsubstantiated social media posts blaming arsonists from both the far left and far right for setting the blazes. The FBI says it’s investigated several claims that extremists are responsible for Oregon’s wildfires and found them to be untrue. A sheriff’s office and a firefighter’s union in Washington state also are knocking down competing narratives. Some posts have blamed far-left antifa activists and others claimed the far-right group the Proud Boys is responsible for the fires. The false claims come as left- and right-wing groups have clashed during protests in the Northwest, particularly in Portland, Oregon.