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Forest Service seeks information on October arson fire

Pedro - The Wayne National Forest Ironton Ranger District is seeking information that may lead to the arrest and conviction of an arsonist who set a small fire in October, destroying government property in the Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area, 6.5 miles north of Ironton, just off State Route 93.

The Forest Service is very interested in hearing from people who were hiking near Lake Vesuvius or boating on the lake on Saturday, October 13, 2007.

“It’s very important whether individuals have spoken to us or not to call us at the district office in Pedro to provide any information surrounding the events that happened that day near the lake,” said Ironton District Ranger Gloria Chrismer.

Damaged in the fire was an electrical panel critical to the operation of the Lake Vesuvius sewer system. Firefighters were quick to suppress the fire that also burned a couple of acres. The Forest Service estimates the panel’s replacement cost to be more than $10,000. Fire suppression costs are estimated at $2,500.

Chrismer said, “It’s really sad to see public property destroyed, causing taxpayers to pay for a new electrical system that wasn’t planned. The money spent on new equipment will have to come out of another project’s budget that was planned this year.”

Individuals are asked to call the Ironton Ranger District office at (740) 534-6500.