There have been eight fires over the past six months in different areas of the park, including Brecksville, Independence, Peninsula and on hiking trails. They've included four grass fires, two residential fires, a barn fire and a train fire. The most recent incident was on Wednesday at a residence located at 6100 Stanford Road in Peninsula.
Multiple fire departments, including Valley Fire District, Valley View Fire Department, Independence Fire Department, Brecksville Fire Department, Cuyahoga Falls Fire Department, and Akron Fire Department, responded to the scenes with mutual aid being provided by neighboring departments. The investigations are being conducted in conjunction with National Park Service, Community Emergency Response Team, Brecksville Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the numerous responding fire departments.
A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered by the Blue Ribbon Arson Committee for information leading to the identification of the person or persons responsible for the fire. Additionally, the Summit County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $2,000 for tips that lead to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible.
"Information from the public is crucial to solving these kinds of cases," said State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers. "Investigators want to hear from anyone who saw something out of the ordinary at or around the time of the fire, or who may have heard someone speaking about the fire with an unusual level of interest or knowledge."