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Arson ruled out as cause of Coopers Rock brush fire

Investigation into the cause of the Coopers Rock State Forest brush fire has produced no evidence of human involvement.

Rudy Williams, regional forester for the West Virginia Division of Forestry for Region 1, said investigators visited the area where the fire took place Monday and were unable to determine with certainty the origin of the fire.

However, investigators were able to eliminate the possibility of arson.

“We kind of ruled out arson. I’m not saying that it didn’t happen, but we didn’t find any evidence of it,” Williams said.

He said in his 40 years working with the Division of Forestry, there have not been any reports of or issues concerning arson at the park.

Investigators are leaning toward powerlines in the area as being the cause of the brush fire, which affected 30.5 acres of the forest.

John Bird, assistant state forester for the Western Special Operations unit with the Division of Forestry and one of the on-scene investigators of the Coopers Rock fire, could not be reached for comment.

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