An 18-year-old Kentwood man was arrested April 22 in connection with a Rosland arson investigation, according to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry (LDAF), and expect other arrests to be made.
Agents with LDAF has charged Noah Steptore with criminal trespass, simple criminal damage to property and fire-raising on lands of another by criminal negligence.
Firefighters in February responded to a large grass fire on Bryce Hyde Road in Roseland. An investigation into the fire determined it was started on the property without the landowner's consent. The fire had spread over several acres and burned more than 600 feet of a wooded fence near the road.
“The LDAF’s Forestry Enforcement Division is tasked with protecting life and property throughout the state’s forested areas,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain. “The program only works, however, if there are collaborative efforts from victims, local citizens, media, and other law enforcement agencies to help stop, solve, and prevent crime. Please, if you have any information regarding agriculture or forestry-related crime, I urge you to notify LDAF enforcement agents. All tips will remain confidential.”
Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the Louisiana Office of Forestry to speak with enforcement agents. Anyone can call the LDAF 24-hr hotline at 1-855-452-5323 or the Forestry Enforcement Program at 1-225-925-4500 to provide information.
LDAF also reminds readers that anyone arrested on criminal charges are considered innocent until proven guilty in court.