Charges filed in Creek County wildfires
BY SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
9/19/12 at 4:05 PM
SAPULPA — A 36-year-old Bristow man has been charged in connection with the devastating wildfires last month that burned 58,500 acres, destroyed 376 homes and left hundreds homeless.
Billy Cloud is charged with a third-degree arson felony count which accuses him of maliciously causing the burning of more than 50,000 acres, numerous residences and other structures in Creek County valued at more than $1 million.
He is accused of starting the blaze on Aug. 2, one day prior to the massive breakout of wildfires that started the next day leaving hundreds of people homeless.
Alternatively, Cloud is charged with unlawful burning of grass and woodlands.
“Since we don’t know the mental state of the accused, we’ll let a judge and jury make that decision,” said Assistant District Attorney Mike Loeffler.
The investigation was conducted by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Creek County Sheriff’s Office.
The burn ban violation, a felony, carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.
The arson charge requires maliciousness and has a penalty of up to 10 years.
A discarded cigarette and alcohol were involved in the incident, according to an affidavit filed in the case.
In this Aug. 5 file photo, Mannford firefighters work to battle a wildfire just west of Mannford on West 31st Street MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World File