Big Bear, CA – This week is Arson Awareness Week. Southern California is no stranger to the destruction caused by wildfires. Sometimes these fires are caused by weather conditions, other times they are arson. Every year arson fires claim lives, property, and natural resources placing your families, our communities, firefighters and law enforcement officers at risk with every response. Thousands of wildfires are set by arsonists each year in the U.S., resulting in billions of dollars in damages as well as thousands more residential and commercial structure fires that are equally as costly. In San Bernardino County alone, a high percentage of investigated fires have been set by arsonists.
“With fire season being year-round, we must take a harder stance on those that mindfully start fires,” said Fire Marshal Mike Horton. “San Bernardino County Fire has set a “zero tolerance” approach to arson. We will continue citing and prosecuting arsonists to the fullest extent.”
Approximately 95 percent of all wildfires are caused by human activity. This means most wildfires are preventable. When an arsonist sets a fire, we all pay the price and we need each other to effectively confront this problem.
You can help by keeping an eye out for suspicious activity in your neighborhood. Suspicious activity can be described as something that is not normal behavior or draws your attention. Not every act that appears suspicious is criminal. However, something that draws your attention and causes concern should be checked out by law enforcement as a precaution. Write down vehicle information, including license plate number, and a description of the occupants. See someone discarding a cigarette out the window, call 9-1-1.
Your information may make the difference in arresting and convicting an arsonist. “If you See Something, Say Something”. Report the information to SBCoFD at 909-386-8400 or anonymously by calling the We-Tip hotline at 1-800-47-ARSON. That’s 1-800-472-7766 or visit WeTip.com.