Although Kentucky’s fall forest fire hazard season officially ended December 15th, Kentucky Division of Forestry officials say people should remain vigilant when burning or building fires out in the open.
KDF Director Leah MacSwords says even though winter precipitation decreases the number of forest fires, it only takes a few sunny dry days to create favorable conditions.
The Kentucky State Police arrested 39 year old Stewart Odom of Murray yesterday in connection with an early morning Arson Fire that occurred on Oct. 6th in Murray, and an attempted Arson Fire at another location on Oct. 8th.
Both incidents occurred on Hamilton Avenue. Odom is charged with Arson in the First Degree, Attempted Arson in the First Degree, and two Counts of Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction, Third Degree.
The investigation continues by State Police Detective Frank Gresham.
A state environmental official says some Kentuckians are turning to an unusual and illegal way to get money for scrap metal. John Gowins is the Environmental Control Supervisor for the Kentucky Division of Air Quality.
"One of the things that we are seeing, seems like more frequently, is the burning of mobile homes," Gowins said. "And people are trying to recover metal because scrap metal prices have gone up. But that is something that just cannot be done."
A Greenville woman whose 4-year-old daughter died in a fire 13 years ago and a family friend have been charged with murder in the girl’s death. Kentucky State Police officials say an Ohio County grand jury indicted Virginia Whitfield of Greenville and Tony Lear Tuesday after finding new evidence. They were also charged with two counts of first-degree assault and one count of first-degree arson. Police say the child died in October 1999 from injuries she suffered in a fire a month earlier in Beaver Dam. Two other children escaped but did suffer smoke inhalation.
A Paducah man is in jail on first degree arson charges for allegedly starting a fire at the home of his estranged wife Wednesday night. Police arrested 44-year-old Norman Landers for violating a domestic violence order when he came to the house after the fire started. Police questioned Landers about the blaze after Fire Marshall Greg Cherry determined the fire’s origin was suspicious. Police say Landers later admitted to starting the fire and is being held in McCracken County Jail. No one was injured in the fire.