At about 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 4, there was a report of a fire at the Burns Post Office on S. Broadway. The reporting party stated the inside mail dropbox was “glowing,” and there was smoke in the area of post office boxes inside the building.
Burns and Hines fire departments and Burns Police responded to the call and secured the fire.
A witness gave a description of a possible suspect as “an older male with a gray beard, wearing a dark Carhartt jacket, dark jeans, and possibly combat boots.”
The subject was last seen on foot headed west on Jackson Avenue about 30 seconds prior to the call to dispatch.
The following day, Harney County Clerk Dag Robinson released the following:
“As you may be aware, there was a fire in the outgoing mail receptacle at the Burns Post Office the evening of Jan. 4. If you voted your ballot for the Jan. 23 Special Election, and returned it by mail in that receptacle between 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., your ballot may have been destroyed due to the incident.
If you are uncertain, please contact the Harney County clerk to obtain a replacement ballot for the Jan. 23 Special Election, to ensure your vote is counted.
The incident is under investigation by the State Fire Marshall and Oregon State Police.
For further information regarding the election, please contact the Harney County clerk at 541-573-6641.”