Wildfire season begins Oct. 1
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 29, 2014) — The Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) is using noses and paws to catch arsonists during fall wildfire season, which runs from Oct. 1 to Dec. 15.
Bloodhounds trained to investigate arson cases will be available for forest fire cases for the first time. Through a partnership with the Bell County Forestry Camp, multiple bloodhounds and handlers are now available to assist KDF with arson investigation.
The Division of Forestry will also partner with the Kentucky State Police (KSP) using KSP arson investigators to assist in investigation, interviewing and arrests of arsonists.
Forestry officials agree that vigorous investigation is the key to catching arsonists, but community effort is needed if arson is to be eliminated.
“Everybody loses when wildland arsonists strike: families can lose their homes, firefighters are put at unnecessary risk, taxpayers foot the bill for suppressing the fires and jobs are often eliminated when the forest resource is reduced,” said Leah W. MacSwords, director of the Division of Forestry. “To bring arson to an end, we need the entire community to get involved.”
Kentucky has an arson hotline so citizens can call to report forest arson. Suspected arsonists should be reported by calling the Target Arson Hotline at 1-800-27-ARSON. Notifiers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if the information provided leads to the arrest and indictment of an arsonist.