May 13, 2013

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

Arson Awareness Campaign in Cleburne County

In response to a large number of wildfires along the Alabama/Georgia state line, the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) will be conducting an Arson Awareness and Fire Prevention Campaign in Cleburne County May 16-18. This campaign will involve AFC law enforcement and fire suppression personnel going door to door, handing out educational material on how to protect your home, and soliciting the public’s help in identifying those responsible for setting recent woods fires.

A similar campaign was conducted May 9-11 in Cherokee County. The Georgia Forestry Commission is also conducting a similar campaign across the state line in Polk and Haralson counties which are adjacent to Cherokee and Cleburne counties.

AFC Law Enforcement Chief Craig Hill said, “The AFC hopes to greatly reduce the number of fires in both counties. Arson-caused wildland fires have historically been a problem along the state line in Cherokee and Cleburne counties. The person(s) responsible for setting these fires should understand the great financial losses they cause to property, as well as the danger they pose to residents and fire suppression personnel.”

Since October of 2012, there have been 7 fires that burned 1,040 acres in Cleburne County. Last year there were 38 fires involving 850 acres in the county; 31 fires that burned 1,951 acres in 2011; and 26 fires that burned 708 acres in 2010.

Citizens witnessing any woods arson or suspicious activity are encouraged to call the AFC’s Wildland Arson Hotline at 1 (800) 222-2927, or their local Sheriff’s Office. Any information provided is confidential and the caller remains anonymous. According to Chief Hill, “The AFC wants those responsible for these fires to know that wildland arson is a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

 

Contact: Chief Craig Hill

Telephone: 334.850.3665

craig.hill@forestry.alabama.gov

 

                       



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