GRANT PARISH, La. – Investigators with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Forestry Enforcement Division arrested Michael Shawn Setliff of Flatwoods, Louisiana, 32, on three counts of simple arson for fires set in Grant Parish.
Investigators allege that on Sept. 13 Setliff set multiple wildfires off Highway 500 and on W.W. Melton Road. The fire on W.W. Melton Road had the potential to become a devastating fire due to dry conditions and its threatening proximity to multiple homes. Thanks to the rapid response of local fire departments and LDAF wildfire containment crews, both fires remained small in size and impact.
On Sept. 15 Setliff was booked into the Rapides Parish Jail as a fugitive on three counts of simple arson for the charges in Grant Parish. His bond was set at $75,000.
If convicted of simple arson, where the damage done amounts to $500 or more, the offender shall be fined no more than $15,000 and imprisoned with hard labor for no more than 15 years. Where the damage is less than $500, the offender shall be fined no more than $2,500 or imprisoned with or without hard labor for no more than five years or both.
All persons accused of crimes are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The public is urged to report any and all forestry-related crimes to the LDAF 24-hour hotline at 1-855-452-5323.