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State offers reward for information on wildfire arsonists

WAYCROSS - A reward of up to $10,000 has been offered for anyone with information leading to the arrest of arsonists thought to have set some of the wildfires scorching southeast Georgia.

State Insurance and Fire Commissioner John Oxendine announced the reward at an early afternoon press conference Thursday. He said the fires, which have burned more than 100,000 acres in the southeast corner of the state, is costing millions to fight - not to mention the danger and damage to the area's farming economy.

"People live on these trees," Oxendine said. "They depend on these trees for income."

An insurance commission arson team will be coming to the Waycross area to help local authorities investigate, Oxendine said. So far Oxendine and other officials haven't said any of the fires were intentionally set, but several of them are considered suspicious.

"The belief by several officers is that the nature of some of these fires leads (to the suspicion) that they may have been arson," Oxendine said. "Wildfires are a little more difficult (to tell)."

Confidential tips can be called in to 1-800-282-5804.

Come back to macon.com on Friday for more from the scene of the fires, including photos and video.

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