VA-FORESTRY-LOGOFrom the Virginia Department of Foresty:  Forest wardens from the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) and investigators from the Bedford County Sheriff’s office suspect one or more arsonists ignited a fire that occurred on Taylor Mountain off Murray Hollow Road in Thaxton on April 10, 2014.  The VDOF needs citizens to be vigilant in the fight against arson. If you believe you have information relating to the cause of these fires, call the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office at 540.586.7827.  Or, call the Virginia Department of Forestry office at 540.586.3109 and report it. 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.

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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 and, when convicted, the guilty person could serve up to five years in prison, pay a fine of $2,500 and be liable for the cost of suppressing the fire.

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