Mountain Fire Still Unsolved

The Virginia Department of Forestry says that it is continuing to investigate the blaze that damaged 28 acres of the Appalachian Trail on April 7th. While there have been no arrests the Forestry Department says that it does have suspects.

According to Gerald R. Crowell, Area Forester for the  Virginia Department of Forestry, he is actively investigating the  fire but it is not unusual for such forest fire investigations to  proceed slowly over weeks or months.

Virginia Forester Gerald Crowell manages fire fighting assets from Barker Lane command post - Photo Edward Leonard, Clarke Daily News

“We do have suspects,  but I cannot yet release any information about them” Crowell said.

Crowell said that specific information about the suspects is subject to further investigation and cannot be disclosed at this time. However, Clarke County taxpayers will not be footing the bill for the fire fighting costs.

“I can tell you that the fire costs  consist of expenses born by the Virginia Department of Forestry. Clarke County  will not have to pay for any of these costs.” Crowell said.

The fire investigation is being handled by the Virginia Department of  Forestry and the National Park Service. Crowell said that other agencies  have also provided assistance and will continue to be involved as needed.