Man arrested for suspicious fire

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, January 13, 2022

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The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) personnel assisted the Lake Gaston Volunteer Fire Department and Fire Chief with an investigation of a suspicious fire on Dec. 28 in Bracey.

VDOF Senior Area Forester and Special Forest Warden Adam Smith, with full support from Mecklenburg County Sheriff Bobby Hawkins and Criminal Investigator Jimmerson, determined that this fire was intentionally set.

Further investigation of the area revealed a recent fire separate from the larger fire. This fire was also determined to be intentionally set.

William Andrew Wright of Bracey was issued warrants for his arrest for each fire pursuant to Virginia State Law Section 18.2-86, which refers to maliciously setting fire to any wood, fence, grass straw or other thing capable of spreading fire on land.

No bail was set, and Wright is being held at the Meherrin Regional Jail in Alberta.

Most wildfires in Virginia are caused by humans and if determined to be arson as described in the law, can result in imprisonment between one to five years, and fines up to $2,500.