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Independence man issued misdemeanor summons

August 27, 2023

For Immediate Release:              
August 27, 2023

Jennifer Finley, Press Secretary – 225-922-1256

Independence man issued misdemeanor summons

Baton Rouge, La. – On August 24, 2023, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s (LDAF) forestry enforcement agents charged Ryan Miller of Independence with fire raising on the lands of another by criminal negligence and violation of the burn ban.

A fire on Hano Road, off Highway 16, was reported to 911 at approximately 3:49 p.m. Local fire departments were unable to contain the fire as it spread into a neighboring pine plantation owned by a local timber company. LDAF forestry crews, including aerial support, responded to the scene and had the fire controlled by 8 p.m.

Upon investigation, agents traced the origin of the fire to 41-year-old Miller, who confessed to burning trash on his property. The fire destroyed approximately 172 acres.

LDAF was assisted in their investigation and firefighting efforts by the St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana State Police, as well as the Amite Fire Department and the Roseland Fire and Police departments.

Note: All persons accused of any crime are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The public is urged to report any and all forestry-related crimes to the LDAF 24-hour hotline at 1-855-452-5323.