Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today announced that investigators with his Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement arrested Douglas Glenn Smith, 58, of Sebring for igniting a fire that escaped and burned more than 300 acres, damaged a residence’s vinyl siding and caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damages to fence posts.
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, responded to the wildfire in Highlands County. Smith admitted to intentionally igniting a tree stump with a blow torch, which caused the wildfire. Smith had previously submitted a request for a burn authorization from the Florida Forest Service, which had been denied.
Smith is in the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Jail on one count of Intentional or Reckless Burning of Lands, a third-degree felony.
The Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement protects Florida’s agriculture and consumers through law enforcement in support of all the regulatory aspects of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For more information, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.