Fire officials search for arsonists behind wildfires

(Courtesy: WVLT/Keith Smith)
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CAMPBELL COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Department of Forestry says it's looking for people believed to have set multiple brush fires in Anderson, Campbell and Scott Counties in the last week.

Four fires were set Saturday alone, burning 205 acres. Many were set along the Cumberland trail where the arsonists are believed to be traveling.

"If we go to it and there's no pattern that goes down to a brush pile or some kind of a source, you know if it was a chimney or something sparked, there would be an indicator that that's where it started. It burns in a V pattern," said Assistant District Forester Nathan Waters.

Anyone with information is asked to call the toll-free Fire Marshal's Arson Hotline at 1-800-762-3017.

Arson is a class C felony and carries a fine of up to $10,000 and three to 15 years in prison.

So far in 2012, nearly 12,000 acres have burned across the state.

Because of dry conditions and excessive fires, outdoor burn permits won't be given in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union and Washington Counties.

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