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Suspect arrested in St. Helena arson investigation 

July 27, 2023

For Immediate Release:              
July 27, 2023

Jennifer Finley, Press Secretary – 225-922-1256
Megan Moore, Public Information Director – 225-935-2179

Suspect arrested in St. Helena arson investigation 

Baton Rouge, La. – Forestry Enforcement Officers with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) have arrested Steve Harrison of Independence in an arson investigation regarding a wildfire on Hano Road in Independence, LA. 

On July 22, LDAF agents in southeast Louisiana began investigating a wildfire that destroyed approximately nine acres of pine plantation on company land. During the investigation, agents identified 55-year-old Harrison, who had several outstanding arrest warrants through the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office.  

On July 25, LDAF agents located Harrison near his residence on Hano Road. Harrison admitted to setting the fire and was subsequently booked for a simple arson violation in the St. Helena Parish Jail.  

“It is illegal to purposely set a fire. A person suspected of doing so will be charged even if no one got hurt and regardless of the damage resulting from the fire,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, DVM. “Setting fire to property without the consent of the owner and any subsequent damage is something LDAF and our Forestry Enforcement agents take very seriously.” 

LDAF agents would like to thank the Tangipahoa and St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s Offices for their assistance during this investigation. 

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-hr hotline at 1-855-452-5323.