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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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