April 09, 2019

Reward Offered for Info on St. Tammany Timber Fire

Today (April 9, 2019), the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry advised that a reward
up to $2,000 is being offered by the Louisiana Forestry Association for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for allegedly setting a fire that burned nearly 300 acres of pine timber in St. Tammany Parish. The property is owned by Weyerhaeuser. Damage is estimated at more than $200,000.

The fire happened around 11:30 a.m. last Wednesday (April 3, 2019) on John Bennett Road off of Hwy. 36 East in Abita Springs. It took thirteen LDAF firefighters and the District 7 (Pearl River) Volunteer Fire Department approximately seven hours to get the blaze under control.

“Right now, it is uncertain whether the fire was intentionally set or whether it was an act of negligence. We’d like to speak with anyone who may have information regarding this incident,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.

If convicted of arson, the person or persons responsible could face up to 15 years at hard labor and/or up to a $15,000 fine. A conviction of negligence is a misdemeanor and the person or persons responsible could face a fine of no more than $300 and/or up to 30 days behind bars.

Anyone with information can remain anonymous and is urged to contact the LDAF at (225) 925-4500 or the LDAF Wildfire Hotline 1-855-452-5323.

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