Authorities Searching for Group Apparently Caught on Video Toppling Iconic Rock Formation in Oregon

iStock/Thinkstock(PACIFIC CITY, Ore.) — Authorities are searching for a group of people recently caught on video appearing to topple over an iconic natural sandstone formation along Oregon's northwest coast.

The rock feature, known as "The Duckbill," was first found in shambles last week in Pacific City, Oregon, according to Oregon Parks and Recreation's associate director Chris Havel. The formation had been a part of Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area.

State officials initially believed the rock had fallen naturally, but they later became aware of a video online apparently showing a group of people pushing down the formation, Havel told ABC News Tuesday.

The video was filmed by a man named David Kalas, ABC Portland affiliate KATU-TV reported.

Kalas had been helping a friend film the coast with a drone when he said he noticed a group of people trying to push the rock pedestal down, he told KATU.

At first, Kalas laughed to himself because he "thought there was no way that they could knock it down," but then he saw the formation start "wobbling," he said.

Kalas managed to get his phone out just in time to catch the moment the group apparently toppled over the sandstone feature.

"I asked them, you know, why they knocked the rock down, and the reply I got was their buddy broke their leg earlier because of that rock," Kalas told KATU. "They basically told me themselves that it was a safety hazard and that they did the world or Oregon a favor."

The group also stood on top of the crumbled sandstone and snapped a few pictures before leaving, Kalas said. He added that he did not know who the alleged vandals were or catch their names, but he hopes his video will help catch them.

"I just want them to learn a lesson," he said, "because if they do this here, they will probably do it elsewhere."

ABC News was unable to reach Kalas.

Director Havel said Oregon State Parks, along with State Police, has now launched an investigation into the video.

He explained that the sandstone in the area has been around for over 18 million years and that the formation was possibly "thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands years old."

"I also think the bigger message here is that everyone who has ever crossed the safety fence and walked on the rock played a role in advancing the demise of this natural feature," Havel said.

"We hope that this story will remind everyone to be more mindful when visiting any park, not just this one."

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California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

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