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The LDAF Forestry Enforcement makes arson-related arrest in Tangipahoa Parish

April 26, 2022

For Immediate Release:              
April 26, 2022

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

LDAF Forestry Enforcement makes arson-related arrest in Tangipahoa Parish

BATON ROUGE – Agents with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s (LDAF) Office of Forestry report that one arrest has been made in an arson investigation into a wildfire on Bryce Hyde Road in Roseland, LA.

In February, firefighters responded to the area in reference to a large grass fire. Upon further investigation, it was determined the fire was started on the property without the landowner’s consent. The fire spread over several acres and burned over 600 feet of a wooded fence near the roadway.

On April 22, 18-year-old Noah Steptore of Kentwood was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail for charges related to criminal trespass, simple criminal damage to property, and fire-raising on lands of another by criminal negligence. Further arrests are pending at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.

“The LDAF’s Forestry Enforcement Division is tasked with protecting life and property throughout the state’s forested areas,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. “The program only works, however, if there are collaborative efforts from victims, local citizens, media, and other law enforcement agencies to help stop, solve, and prevent crime. Please, if you have any information regarding agriculture or forestry-related crime, I urge you to notify LDAF enforcement agents. All tips will remain confidential.”

Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the Louisiana Office of Forestry to speak with enforcement agents. Individuals can call the LDAF 24-hr hotline at 1-855-452-5323 or the Forestry Enforcement Program at 1-225-925-4500.

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