CLOVERDALE -- Fire investigators at Cloverdale are trying to figure out who or what is responsible for a recent string of field fires on property along Stardust Road.
Cloverdale resident Don Gedert owns the 120-acre field where a total of eight hay bales have burned in a series of fires beginning last week. Tuesday night was the fourth time the Cloverdale Township Vol. Fire Dept. was called to extinguish the fires and the second time in the same day, Gedert said.
"Apparently the perpetrators took advantage of the foggy conditions this morning," Gedert told the Banner Graphic at the scene Tuesday night.
Fire Investigator Steve Walters estimated the fires have caused about $1,000 in lost revenue for the farmer who cuts and bales the hay on Gedert's property. Gedert said the farmer lives in another town.
"It's highly suspicious of arson," Gedert said. "Whoever's doing it thinks they are causing me monetary harm, but it's not my hay."
Walters said he has not been able to determine how the fires are starting, however, he isn't ruling out arson.
"I'm pretty sure I can rule out spontaneous combustion," Walters said.
In the meantime, Gedert is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects in this case.
Walters is requesting tips be placed by calling either the Cloverdale Police Department or the Cloverdale Twp. Fire Department.