SEBRING (FOX 13) - A Sebring man has been accused of igniting a fire that grew into a 300-acre blaze.
State investigators arrested 58-year-old Douglas Glenn Smith after, they say, he admitted to intentionally igniting a tree stump with a blow torch, causing the wildfire off of Moon Ranch Road and Kenilworth Boulevard.
According to the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, Smith requested a burn permit but was denied.
“He then set the fire anyway,” deputies wrote on the agency’s Facebook page, “leading to the muck fire near the Sebring airport that has sent smelly smoke all over the county.”
The fire damaged a home’s vinyl siding and caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damages to fence posts, state investigators say.
State fire officials say as of Thursday morning the fire is 80 percent contained. Firefighters are setting up hose lines near the wildfire to saturate the soil.
Smith was arrested on one count of intentional or reckless burning of lands.