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Cullman County officials believe fire intentional

COLONY (AP) — Fire officials believe a 200-acre wildfire in southwestern Cullman County, the latest in a string of blazes in the same area, was intentionally set.

Dozens of firefighters from 14 fire departments and four two-man firefighting units from the state Forestry Commission battled the blaze Monday at a former strip mine between the town of Colony and the Bremen community.

The fire was contained by late Monday afternoon. No injuries were reported and no homes or buildings were damaged, firefighters said.

The fire likely was caused by arson, said Ken Elmore, a fire specialist for the Alabama Forestry Commission’s northwest region. Don Stricklin, assistant chief of the Bremen Volunteer Fire Department, said this was the ninth time that department has been in that area since June 23 to put out small blazes, sometimes more than once in a day.

“It hasn’t naturally occurred — not that many in a row. It’s definitely some idiot,” Stricklin said.

The parched conditions make the area ripe for fires, Elmore said.

“It’s going to be a long, hot summer,” he said.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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