Louisiana Man Arrested in Connection with Wildfire Arson Investigation and Multiple Outstanding Warrants

By Orion Blake
Published July 28, 2023

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A Louisiana man has been arrested in connection with a wildfire arson investigation and multiple outstanding warrants.

Steve Harrison from Independence has been apprehended in relation to a wildfire arson investigation on Hano Road in Independence, Louisiana. This arrest has been made by Forestry Enforcement Officers from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF).

On the 22nd of July, agents from the LDAF started looking into a wildfire in southeast Louisiana that destroyed roughly nine acres of pine plantation on commercial land. Through this investigation, they identified Harrison as a suspect, a 55-year-old man with multiple unresolved arrest warrants issued by the Sheriff’s Office of Tangipahoa Parish.

On 25th July, agents from LDAF found Harrison close to his home on Hano Road. Harrison reportedly confessed to starting the fire and as a result, he was charged with a simple arson violation and placed 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.”

Agents from the LDAF expressed their gratitude to the Sheriff’s Offices of Tangipahoa and St. Helena Parish for their cooperation throughout this investigation.

The LDAF encourages the general public to report any occurrences of crimes related to forestry to the 24-hour hotline for LDAF at 1-855-452-5323.

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.