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Authorities say Bankhead fire may be arson

By Kristen Bishop
kbishop@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

Authorities believe a fire Sunday in Bankhead National Forest may have been arson, said District Ranger Glen Gaines.

The fire on Lawrence County 70 near Pine Torch Church took firefighters with the Moulton Fire Department, the U.S. Forest Service and the Alabama Forestry Commission more than six hours to extinguish.

Gaines said the fire was mostly on privately owned land within the forest.

Firefighters were able to prevent it from reaching any buildings.

"The fire didn't really cover a lot of acres, but it was very active because of the dry conditions," he said. "There were also some houses and the historic Pine Torch Church that were threatened."

The Forestry Commission is investigating the cause of the fire and believes it may be arson, said Gaines.

"There was no other cause for the fire except someone starting it," he said. "That's the suspicion right now."

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