Reward offered for information on arson fires in Virginia

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SCOTT CO. (WSLS 10) - Special Forest Wardens from the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) suspect one or more arsonists ignited a number of fires in Scott County on Nov. 11, 2016. According to fire officials, there have been arson fires in surrounding counties and states.

Woods arson is the common term for deliberately burning forests, grasslands or brush without the owner's permission. The VDOF and other law enforcement officials are concerned with the number and frequency of these dangerous, destructive and senseless criminal acts. Woods arson is a felony in Virginia, guilty person(s) could serve up to five years in prison, pay a fine of $2,500 and be liable for the cost of suppressing the fire.

The VDOF needs citizens to be vigilant in the fight against arson - a crime that could lead to property destruction or even death. If you believe you have information relating to the cause of these fires or the person or people responsible, call the Virginia Department of Forestry office at 540-387-5461 and report it. Alternatively, you may call the Scott County Sheriff's Office at 276-386-7679. You may also anonymously call the VDOF Arson Tip Line at 434-220-9053. Your help may be worth up to $2,000 - the reward offered for information that leads to the conviction of an arsonist. For other emergencies or to report a new fire, call 911.

If you see any fire where firefighters have not yet arrived on the scene, make note of the following:

• Location and time of the fire

• Description of persons observed in the area

• Description of any vehicles or ATVs observed and the license plate if possible

• Any other pertinent information