Arson fires burn hundreds of acres in Hamblen County

HAMBLEN COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Fire investigators say hundreds of acres have burned in Hamblen County since February and they believe the fires were intentionally set.

Firefighters say so far 10 fires have been set. Edward & Jayne Cox have pictures of a fire that came very close to their home.

"It came down the ridge behind us and if it hadn't have been for the lake there that broke it, it could have been costly for us," said Edward Cox. "That one day was perfect because whoever it was they looked at the weather. it was perfect because they knew it was going to be dry the next 4 days."

Investigators say so far no major property has been damaged. They fear something that's fun and games to someone could get out of hand.

"With it as dry as this is, this could turn into a dangerous situation," said Carrie McCann, Hamblen County Sheriff's Department. "This is difficult, since there's been no witnesses, we don't know what they look like. But we'll find them."

So far the fires have cost the county 400 man hours with firefighters and investigators.

The arson fires carry penalties of 3 to 6 years in prison.

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