Arson suspected in Page County wildfire

Posted at 2:09 PM, Apr 17, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-17 19:02:39-04

PAGE COUNTY, Va (WTVR) - The Virginia Department of Forestry says they suspect the 4,000 acre Shipwreck fire ignited in Page County last week was started by one, or possibly more, arsonists. The announcement was made on their website Monday afternoon.

They believe the same culprits may have been involved in lighting at least 20 other fires on Easter Sunday on First Mountain.

“The lives and property of more than 250 residents and firefighters were directly threatened by these suspicious fires,” John Miller, director of resource protection for the Virginia Department of Forestry, said in the release.

“When a wildfire is intentionally set, it endangers lives and can cause unbelievable destruction to land, trees and homes,” Miller said. “In addition, when firefighters are working an arson fire, they and their equipment are not available to suppress other wildland fires. This depletion of resources puts even more people and their property at risk.”

A $2,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the conviction of an arsonist. If you have any information call the Page County Crime Solvers at 540.743.3272.

Wildfire arson is a felony in Virginia, punishable with up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.