An aspiring weatherman has been charged with arson after admitting to starting a wildfire, just so he could get a few Facebook views.
Johnny Mullins, from Jenkins, Kentucky regularly posted videos on social media called ‘Weather Outlook’, with his final video filmed in a burning forest almost getting 3,000 views by the time of his arrest for second-degree arson.
The 21-year-old posted updates on the forest fire which had ravaged through his local area, writing: “A forest fire warning is out for all of the eastern Kentucky Mountains. Burning hot spots is causing numerous of fires to continue to spread across the mountains.”
I do not think these are being set intentionally. We have a very dry air mass that continues to stay in place and we are under dangerous drought conditions. We do not have any rain chances in the forecast, well not enough to help the fire threat.
Speaking to the Associated Press after his arrest, local police chief James Stephens said that he was a pretty decent guy, but didn’t quite realise the severity of his actions.
It’s really too bad because he’s not a bad kid – he’s just misguided. He enjoyed the attention he got from the Facebook stuff. He didn’t realise how much danger he was putting other people in.
Wildfires have broken out across the south-eastern United States this month, affecting parts of Kentucky alongside Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Authorities suspect arson might have been a factor in more than 20 of the fires which have destroyed forests in and around the south Appalachian mountains, but only one other arrest has been made so far.