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Jonesville Man Arrested for Simple Arson for Causing Wildfires

June 16, 2023

For Immediate Release:              
June 16, 2023

Jennifer Finley, Press Secretary – 225-922-1256

Jonesville Man Arrested for Simple Arson for Causing Wildfires

Baton Rouge, La. – On Thursday, June 8, Forestry Enforcement Officers with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) arrested 32-year-old William Ogden Alexander of Jonesville for setting a fire at a Catahoula Parish cemetery.

According to officers, Alexander allegedly set fire to the cemetery property on two separate days. The fire eventually spread into the woods and resulted in a half-acre wildfire that caused local Volunteer Fire Departments and LDAF Forestry Fire Eradication Units to be dispatched to the scene to extinguish the fires.

LDAF officers located a suspect who was observed at the scene of the fire earlier that day. Upon being arrested for one count of simple arson and two counts of possession of a controlled, dangerous substance (Schedule III), Alexander was transported to the Catahoula Parish Jail, where he is being held on a $30,000 bond.

“There are 18.9 million acres of land under fire protection by LDAF’s Forest Protection Division,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, D.V.M. “Even in a small area, the potential for a resulting wildfire can cause damage and destruction to life and property. Arson is a crime we take very seriously.”

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 forestry-related crimes to the LDAF Office of Forestry at 225-925-4500 or LDAF’s 24-hour hotline at 1-855-452-5323.