A Cartersville man is one of two accused of setting wildfires that burned several acres in Bartow County late Thursday.
The size of the blazes on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property in Acworth prompted assistance from the Georgia Forestry Commission and resulted in two arrests. Two fires burned a total of 3 to 4 acres, Bartow County Fire Department Battalion Chief David Levy said.
After Bartow County firefighters responded about 10 p.m. to a second fire in the area of Scenic Mountain Drive, they called law enforcement authorities, who would later jail Henry Tyler Attaway, 25, of Old Allatoona Road, and Justin Andrew Sullins, 22, of Acworth, according to the Bartow County Sheriff's Office incident report, attached.
While trying to suppress one blaze, firefighters heard voices in the woods nearby and four-wheelers drive off. A short time later and suspecting someone was setting fires, authorities spotted smoke and flames—another fire—a short distance away. Crews had doused an earlier, small blaze in the same area about 5 p.m., according to officials.
The later blazes required a fire break cut by forest rangers, Levy said. Georgia Forestry was called in due to the size and location of the fire, which apparently was threatening homes on Scenic Mountain Drive.
Deputies later searching on foot caught up with Attaway, who was riding a four-wheeler, but said he didn't know, but had just met, the people riding the other ATVs and had no information about the fires "yet the entire field was ablaze and smoke filled the area," reported a deputy.
Attaway, who also allegedly had marijuana in his cigarette pack, was arrested, but while he and police waited for a tow truck, his phone rang several times. The phone displayed the caller as the second suspected four-wheeler driver, Drew Sullins, who told police his whereabouts after first hanging up on an officer, then calling back. He also was arrested.
Attaway and Sullins were each charged with igniting objects to set wildfires and criminal trespass. Attaway also was charged with possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana.
It's unclear if authorities would pursue charges against the person riding the third four-wheeler, who fled.
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