EVERGLADES, Fla. – Federal and state investigators are searching for an arsonist who has been setting fires at the Everglades National Park.
U.S. National Park Service Law Enforcement Ranger Nicholas Money said there have been 11 suspicious fires at the park. Aside from damaging the protected area, he said the fires have threatened the lives of the firefighters who have responded.
“We are encouraging the public that if they remember when they were in the area of the park, on when they see fires that were started when there is no personnel around, we are encouraging them to call those tip lines,” Money said.
Investigators believe the arsonist has been setting the fires about every two weeks. One of those fires was on March 17 near the Long Pine Key Campground, west of Homestead. Firefighters contained the flames before campers had to be evacuated.
National Park rangers and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the case with the help of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and other law enforcement agencies.
Money said he is concerned about the dry season making it more difficult to control the flames if the arsonist continues to set fires in the park. He is asking anyone with information to submit a tip through the ATF hotline at 1-888-283-8477 or the National Park Service Investigative Services Bureau at 202-379-476.
Long Pine Key Campground