Why Set A Forest Fire?

By: Michel Mason Email
By: Michel Mason Email

Two emergency firefighters with the division of forestry are charged with setting forest fires in Eastern Kentucky. This comes as rangers work overtime to put out several arson fires in our region.

WYMT'S Michel Mason spoke with a psychologist about what makes someone want to start a fire.

In the last week, forest fire season in Eastern Kentucky has heated up. Most of the fires are started on purpose.

"Fire is a very powerful thing. The problem is it very easily gets out of control," said Dr. Brad Adkins, a Clinical Psychologist.

Dr. Adkins says some of those behind the fires are in it for the rush. But psychologically, Dr. Adkins says there is a great difference between pyromania and arson.

"Arson is engaged in usually for financial or monetary gain. Pyromania is a different animal all together," added Dr. Adkins.

He says it's rare to see firefighters setting fires themselves, but it does happen.

"Watching people scramble to put the fires out or even being involved with putting out the fire yourself that you have set is another hallmark of pyromania," said Dr. Adkins.

It's something that may have put two emergency firefighters with the division of forestry out of work.

"It's unfortunate that these two individuals that were found to be forest arsonists would give the rest of them a bad name," said Lynn Branner, Information Officer for the Kentucky Division of Forestry.

James Yeager, 20, is charged with starting fires in Knox County. In Pike County, state police arrested Christopher Little, 30.

Both men no longer work for the division of forestry.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 10, 2008 at 05:13 AM
    Job Security & Overtime. Has nothing to do with being a democrat or repulican.
  • by Bill on Nov 10, 2008 at 04:25 AM
    Democrats are parasites,finding more and more ways to drain our treasury.Its come the point, that most of them think its OK.worse yet is that is waht they are being taught, by this over the top socialist goverment.Now we have one in the White house.freedom in this coutry is over.
  • by Tom Location: KY on Nov 9, 2008 at 03:44 PM
    How do you turn arson and mountain fires into a topic which involves politics? Come on people, I don’t think those individuals responsible for starting the fire were worried what republicans would think. I do have a feeling some of the fires are started by employees of the Forestry Division.
  • by Bill on Nov 9, 2008 at 03:50 AM
    Just some good ol democrats making a little extra cash before xmass.And having some fun,watching everyone scramble about.
  • by AC Location: Corbin on Nov 8, 2008 at 12:57 PM
    I'm not so sure that it's all that unusual for firefighters to be pyromaniacs. I've heard of it happening fairly regularly and to some degree it makes since that pyromaniacs would be drawn to a profession that involves direct contact with fire. It happened in Laurel Co. a short while back and I've heard of it happening in other places, too.
  • by Ginger on Nov 8, 2008 at 04:19 AM
    Just democats with nothing to do,as allways.

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