CHEROKEE COUNTY TO HOST ARSON AWARENESS CAMPAIGN THIS WEEK
In response to a large number of wildfires along the Alabama/Georgia state line, the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) is conducting an Arson Awareness and Fire Prevention Campaign in the eastern portion of Cherokee County May 9-11. A similar campaign will be conducted May 16-18 in Cleburne County.
Both campaigns will involve AFC law enforcement and fire suppression personnel going door-to-door, handing out educational material on how residents can protect their homes, and soliciting the public’s help in identifying those responsible for setting recent woods fires.
“Arson-caused wildland fires have historically been a problem along the state line in Cherokee and Cleburne counties," said AFC Law Enforcement Chief Craig Hill. "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.”
Statistics of arson-caused woods fires in Cherokee and Cleburne counties for the past four years are listed below. Fires reported for 2013 are from October of 2012—present.
2013 — 11 fires, 931 acres burned
2012 — 30 fires, 680 acres burned
2011 — 32 fires, 1,635 acres burned
2010 — 37 fires, 1,866 acres burned
The Georgia Forestry Commission will be conducting a similar campaign across the state line in Polk and Harrison counties, which are adjacent to Cherokee and Cleburne counties.
2013 — 7 fires, 1,040 acres burned
2012 — 38 fires, 850 acres burned
2011 — 31 fires, 1,951 acres burned
2010 — 26 fires, 708 acres burned
Citizens witnessing any woods arson or suspicious activity are encouraged to call the AFC’s Wildland Arson Hotline at (800) 222-2927, or their local sheriff’s office. Any information provided is confidential, and the caller remains anonymous. Wildland arson is a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
For more information, visit www.forestry.alabama.gov.