Alabama Forestry Commision exhausted from battling intentionally set wildfires

Over 1300 acres in Walker County were burned in a wildfire that was intentionally set. (CBS42/ Matt Fernandez)
Over 1300 acres in Walker County were burned in a wildfire that was intentionally set. (CBS42/ Matt Fernandez)

WALKER COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Governor Bentley is offering a $5,000 reward for the arrest of someone responsible for setting wildfires.

Crews from the Alabama Forestry Commission have responded to more than 40 fires since last month. The cause of some of those fires is arson, despite stiff penalties.

The 1300 acre fire in Walker County is just one of many fires in Walker County ruled arson. Jason Berry with the Alabama Forestry Commision says during a burn ban, fines can be up to $500 and six months of jail time. In addition, a person starting a fire could have to pay for the resources it takes to put of the fire. That could add up to the thousands.

Just last month, Walker County had  more than 20 arson-related fires.

“Give us a break–we are doing the best we can to protect life, and property, protecting structures,” Berry said. “You never know when it could be your family and your friends house that could be next because we couldn’t stop a fire before it got to structure or that property.”

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