DAVID – Floyd County has been plagued with a string of forest fires over the past week. Earlier in the week, the Prestonsburg Fire Department was busy this week as they fought blazes along the hillsides of US 23. Both the David Volunteer Fire Department and Middle Creek Fire Department were also busy fighting blazes.
An arrest has been made in connection to the forest fires.
According to officials with the Floyd County Detention Center, John Shepherd, of David, was arrested in connection to the string of forest fires.
KRS 149.400 lists the spring fire hazard season as February 15-April 30. Between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. it is illegal to burn within 150 feet of a woodland area. Dry weather conditions make this the perfect weather for forest fires.
Prestonsburg Fire Chief Mike Brown said firefighters worked diligently to keep the blaze under control due to hazard conditions such as power lines and gas lines along the area of the blaze on hillsides along US. 23. As investigators collected information, they determined the fires were most likely the work of an arsonist.
Investigators in the David community also suspected arson when residents in the community began to notice a suspicious red vehicle in the area within moments of a new fire being set. A $1,000 reward was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons involved in the forest fires.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.