This Couple Are Not Antifa Arsonists, But Armed Locals Thought They Were - 2020-09-11
Trumbly and Paulsen, both of whom spoke to BuzzFeed News by phone from Portland on Thursday, said the interactions seemed "normal." They said the fire was moving quickly, so they didn't stay long in Molalla. "We thought it was getting a bit dangerous, so we left," Trumbly said.
But shortly after they left, Paulsen began checking Twitter and Facebook to see news about the fires. She noticed that residents were sharing information about their car, including detailed descriptions of its appearance and license plate. The posts claimed they were members of antifa, an amorphous collection of left-wing groups that the president has called "a terrorist organization," who had come to Molalla from Portland to commit arson.
Authorities in Oregon have struggled for days to fight apocalyptic wildfires that have burned over 800 square miles, forced thousands to evacuate their homes, and killed at least three people. Now they are also fighting a wave of rumors spreading on social media that the blazes were set by left-wing activists linked to the Portland protests.