USA – FORT SMITH – A Harrison man was sentenced on May 5, 2021, to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $12,494.14 in restitution on one count of Willfully and Without Authority and Consent of the United States Set on Fire Timber, Underbrush, Grass and Other Inflammable Material Upon a Public Domain within the Buffalo National River. The Honorable US District Judge P.K. Holmes, III, presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Fort Smith.
According to court documents, In March 2020, Jacob Edward Walls, 29, was indicted by a federal grand jury, of setting a wildland fire within Buffalo National River, in Newton County, near Pruitt, on February 5, 2019. Federal investigators determined Walls set a fire within the park, which threatened nearby private structures and lands, and subsequently fled the area.
Acting U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes of the Western District of Arkansas made the announcement.
The National Park Service, Investigative Services Branch, and the U.S. Park Rangers at Buffalo National River investigated the case. The Newton County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the case
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner prosecuted the case.