The Forestry Enforcement Division of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) apprehended 32-year-old Michael Shawn Setliff from Flatwoods, Louisiana. Setliff was charged with three incidents of simple arson for allegedly igniting fires in Grant Parish.
Investigators allege that Setliff sparked several wildfires near Highway 500 and W.W. Melton Road on September 13, 2023. The blaze on W.W. Melton Road was particularly worrisome, as it had the chance to grow into a devastating wildfire due to arid conditions and its alarming closeness to numerous residences.
Fortunately, both fires were kept small and manageable, thanks to the swift intervention of local fire services and LDAF wildfire control teams.
Setliff was incarcerated in the Rapides Parish Jail on September 15, 2023, as a fugitive on the grounds of three simple arson charges in Grant Parish. His bail was fixed at $75,000.
If found guilty of simple arson causing damage worth $500 or more, the criminal could face a monetary fine of up to $15,000 and could also be subjected to imprisonment with hard labor for up to 15 years.
In cases where the damage caused is less than $500, the criminal can be fined a maximum of $2,500 and may be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison with or without compulsory hard labor, or both penalties may apply.
An arrest is an indication that probable cause exists to believe the subject was involved in the offense alleged. All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The general public is encouraged to report any crimes related to forestry to the LDAF on their 24-hour hotline, 1-855-452-5323.