Suspected arsonist burning up state park - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Perry County, IL

Suspected arsonist burning up state park

Suspected arsonist burning up state park
By: Arnold Wyrick

PERRY COUNTY, Ill. - Pyramid State Park in Perry County Illinois is one of the most beautiful, and one of the largest in the state.  But now police say someone is destroying the park with fire.

On Tuesday evening fire fighters battled a field fire for more than three hours before snuffing it out.  The blaze destroyed 250-acres of wilderness in a matter of minutes.

Now police say the fires are the work of an arsonist. "I would think it's an arsonist. we've had too many of them in the past two weeks for them to be just an accident," says Illinois Department of Natural Resources Superintendent Cha Hill.

"These people who are going out here lighting these fires, they don't know if someone walked in there fishing, or running their dogs or whatever.  They could be trapped in there by these fires.  Before we do a burn we check to make sure no one is in there."

But, who ever it is, Hill believes they know police are watching the park. "The fire on Tuesday evening started within 30-minutes of officers leaving the area.  Then we no sooner got that one under control, and another sparked up to the south of where we were," Hill said.

Now park rangers worry that people are going to get hurt, or worse possible even killed, because the weather is warming up and more people are using the park on a daily basis. "This is the time of year when we start seeing more fisherman, campers and families picnicking.  So we've been lucky so far no one has been hurt.  And they might like watching all the fire trucks come and the flames, but it causes a lot of work for other people," Hill said.

If you have any information about these suspicious fires in Pyramid State Park, in Perry County please call the Perry County Sheriff's office at 618-357-5212.

Powered by Frankly