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Bossier Parish man arrested on nine wildland fire counts

September 10, 2011

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain said a Bossier City man was arrested today on nine counts of simple arson.
Strain said Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Department (LDAF) and State Fire Marshall investigators arrested Khristopher Cooper, 21, 1925 Rossie Lee Drive, after he confessed to setting nine wildland fires near the Taylortown community in Bossier Parish.
Cooper allegedly set fire to hay bales and brush piles off Gamble Road, Mercer Road and Goat Hill Road between Sept. 9 and 10.
Cooper was booked into the Bossier Parish Jail.
An LDAF pilot detected and reported the fires on Goat Hill Road on Sept. 9, Strain said.
All of the fires were set within a two-mile radius. The fires were contained by LDAF wildland firefighting crews and local fire departments.
Strain said about 500-700 bales of hay was destroyed. The value of the hay could easily be more than $100,000 at current prices, he said.
“Bossier Parish is one of several parishes currently experiencing exceptional drought conditions according to the United States Drought Monitor and wildland fires can spread very rapidly,” Strain said. “Our LDAF firefighting crews quickly contained these fires before they could do serious damage to any populated areas, although the loss of 500-700 bales of hay is very serious. Cattlemen in Texas are desperate for hay right now.”
The Fire Protection Branch within LDAF is dedicated to providing fire protection for Louisiana’s forestland owners. As the state’s lead agency charged with forest fire suppression, the office works closely with local, state, and federal partners to ensure life and property are protected from the threat of wildfires.