Firework, Dry Trees: Attempted Arson Charge in Louisiana

September 28, 2011

A 41-year-old Hosston man was booked with attempted arson after allegedly shooting a Roman candle into a young pine plantation, state Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain said.

Kevin Lee Dumas is free on $50,275 bond, according to the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“Northwestern Louisiana has been under exceptional drought conditions for some time and it doesn’t take much to ignite a wildfire,” Strain said Friday. Caddo Parish is among 34 parishes with outdoor burn bans.

Dumas was arrested after people called the sheriff’s office on Sept. 13, saying they were afraid he would set the pines on fire, Forestry Enforcement Officer Jason Watts said.

The sheriff’s office said he was arrested Sept. 14, released, booked Sept. 16 and released on $50,000 bond.

Watts said Dumas was first picked up on an outstanding Bossier Parish warrant, and arrested again after investigators found the spent Roman candle cylinder and burn marks on the road beside the plantation.

Dumas does not have a listed phone number. It was unclear if he has an attorney.

He’s the second Hosston resident booked in recent months on a fire-related charge. In July, forestry officials said James D. Cook was booked with negligence after a fire burned 250 acres of north Caddo Parish woods and destroyed a fishing camp, storage building, motorhome and bass boat.

Forestry Enforcement Manager Jim Baldwin said that fire, in June, apparently started from sparks and hot metal slag as Cook dismantled a large air compressor with a cutting torch, and destroyed $300,000 worth of timber near the Trees community.

Baldwin says two witnesses poured 10 gallons of water on it and thought the fire was out, but Cook allegedly left without making sure. The fire took three days to put out.

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