FBI: refuge will be closed for weeks for investigation - KPTV - FOX 12

FBI: refuge will be closed for weeks for investigation

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Sheriff Dave Ward of Harney County: “I have seen people angry, I have seen people angry that couldn’t explain what they were even angry about.” Sheriff Dave Ward of Harney County: “I have seen people angry, I have seen people angry that couldn’t explain what they were even angry about.”
BURNS, OR (KPTV) -

The FBI said that the Malheur National Wildlife refuge will remain closed for several weeks while federal officials begin their investigation following a 41-day standoff by armed protesters.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Greg Bretzing said during a news conference Thursday that crews will be searching the area for explosives and hazardous materials, while other experts will be brought in to see if artifacts being kept at the refuge were damaged by the occupiers.

Agent Bretzing noted that the people of Harney County had been through, “an experience that is both highly emotional and physically exhausting.”

Harney County judge Steve Grasty also noted that the standoff was not a “peaceful protest,” instead making it clear that the takeover federal property is a crime.

Grasty also asked other armed protesters to stay away, saying that militia remaining in the area would, “delay issues that need to be addressed.”

Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward, who has been thrust into the national spotlight during the standoff, said he hoped communication would prevent another incident like this from happening again.

“We need to communicate with our leaders, and our leaders need to communicate with us,” he said. “I have seen people angry, I have seen people angry that couldn’t explain what they were even angry about.”

Ward said it was now time to try to bridge the division in the community and country that he feels led to the standoff.

“I’ve seen division in our community, division in families, division among friends and neighbors and division in our church congregations,” Ward said. “There’s good that come out of this. Friends and neighbors can get off social media and sit down over coffee and talk about this.”

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