Increased wildfires caused by Arson
Wildfires continue to burn in the Sunshine State. At least 126-thousand acres have burned across Florida since January. Florida Division of Forestry Director Jim Karels (CARL’S) says it’s been so dry this year that it reminds him of the wildfire season of 98… when it was so dry that the governor banned fireworks for the 4th of July
Most of the wildfires are man-made and they’re not all accidental. There have been 240 arson wildfires so far this year. That’s an increase of nearly 70 percent compared to this time last year. The arson hotline for the forestry service is 1-800-342-5869
The Florida Forestry Arson Alert Association is a nonprofit organization formed in early 1986. Created to be a vehicle for supplying information to the public about woods arson, the association also acquires funds and distributes rewards for information about incidents of this senseless crime.
How Can I Receive a Reward?
Anyone with information about a fire believed set by an arsonist should contact a Florida Forest Service field office or call 1-800-342-5869. Ask to speak to the District Manager or Fire Investigator responsible for the area involved.
If the caller’s information leads to the apprehension of an arsonist, the District Manager will recommend to the Arson Alert Association that a reward be paid. If the reward is approved by the Arson Alert Association Board of Directors, the funds will be forwarded to the District Manager for payment.
- The minimum reward is $100.00 and the maximum reward is $5,000.00.
- The identity of the caller will be kept confidential if requested.
What Will Happen to the Arsonist?
Arson is a felony crime. It is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.00, five years in prison, or both.