ViewPoint: Arsonists should be in prison

May 4, 2007

With the worst wildfires in state history raging in South Georgia, it is appalling to think that some of the fires were intentionally set. Yet, that is the word from firefighters.

In additional to the huge fires already burning in the Waycross area, a half dozen more have flared up in Ware and Charlton counties and are considered suspicious. Ten fires were intentionally set in Coffee County on Wednesday.

Governor Sonny Perdue has vowed that whoever is responsible for setting the fires will be "burned."  To prove he's serious, an arson task force is now in place to track down the arsonists.

We applaud the Governor for taking such quick action, and we join him in calling for an end to this reckless and criminal behavior.

100,000 acres of South Georgia land has already burned. Twenty-one homes have been destroyed and the hundreds of firefighters battling the flames face the possibility of injury or death while dealing with this crisis.

To anyone responsible for setting these new fires - we hope you are caught.

For the rest of us law-abiding Georgians, it's time to pay attention to the growing danger this drought presents.

Let's all be careful not to become accidental arsonists.  Don't flip cigarettes or matches out of car windows; don't burn trash around your home; and don't leave grills unattended.

This is a critical time in Georgia and it's up to all of us to use great caution in not making a bad situation worse.

As for the arsonists, if you have any information, please call the Arson Tip Hotline at 1-800-282-5804. There's a reward of up to $10,000.