If you have followed this blog for any time now, you may know that we have suffered a rash of wildfires over the past half-year in our county. We have had four fires that have burned on our property since Thanksgiving Day 2005, and all have occurred under the worst possible conditions for firefighting – very windy days combined with drought conditions (our drought has eased this spring, thank goodness). If you would like to refresh your memory, you can read previous posts here, and here.
When I read our local weekly newspaper today, I came across the following article:
Arson Investigation Results In Arrest
Following a joint investigation between investigator Jim Thomas of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and investigators with the Arkansas State Forestry Commission, a Harrison man was arrested for arson.
Marion County Sheriff Carl McBee said, “Nicholas Ray Taylor, age 21, of Harrison was arrested on June 13 on an outstanding felony warrant charging him with unlawful burning, which is an unclassified felony.”
McBee said that the investigation occurred after several fires were reported in the Zinc area of Marion County from January through March of this year. With information provided by concerned citizens in the Zinc and Lead Hill areas, investigators developed enough information to arrest Taylor.
During the interview, Taylor admitted that he intentionally set four fires in the Zinc area. Taylor was a new member of the Zinc Volunteer Fire Department.
Taylor was booked into the Marion County Jail and released after posting a $2,500 bond. He is scheduled to appear in the Marion County Circuit Court on June 28 to answer the charge filed against him.
“I would like to thank all of the members of all of the fire departments who worked long, hot hours fighting these fires and for their assistance during this investigation,” McBee said.
Source: Mountaineer Echo – June 25, 2006 – by Jane H. Estes – Front page
I would also like to thank these firefighters once again for all of their hard work and dedication to their communities. Without volunteer firefighters, there would be no one to turn to in these kind of situations. It is too bad that there was one “bad apple” in the barrel, along side of all the other wonderful men and women who give so unselfishly of themselves. Hopefully, these frightening events are now going to be a thing of the past. There is enough to worry about in this world without these kinds of nutcases running around loose.