Friday, May 8, 2015

Ken Kaye: "Forest Service asks for public's help to catch wildfire arsonists"

Ken Kaye at the Sun Sentinel has this story of more concern to our neighboring counties to the south. The number of wildfires set by arsonists in Miami-Dade is very high. However, if you do see something suspicious off the beaten trail here in Palm Beach County the Arson Alert Hotline is 800-342-5869. Here's an excerpt from the story:
     Although lightning strikes more often in Florida than any other state, it doesn't spark as many wildfires as arsonists.
     The Florida Forest Service is renewing its push for the public to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity, such as people returning and lingering around wildfires or actually setting a fire.
     "We have just have a lot of wildfires that are intentionally set by humans in South Florida," said Scott Peterich, wildfire mitigation specialist for the Florida Forest Service.
     The agency asks that if you spot a suspicious person or vehicle, get a license plate number and call the state's Arson Alert Hotline at 1-800-342-5869.
     Callers can remain anonymous, and their information could result in a reward of up to $5,000.
     In the past three years, arsonists are suspected of setting 166 fires in South Florida, burning almost 2,500 acres. The majority of those fires, 148, were set in Miami-Dade County. Fifteen were set in Broward County and three in Palm Beach County. [emphasis added]