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Cypres Lake fire investigators looking at 'person of interest'
Cypress Fire 1116 for Web
Fire at Cypress Lake - photo by Herald File

Cypress Lake fire

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    Investigators say they have identified a "person of interest" in a fire that destroyed 260 acres of a dry lake bed earlier this month. Though no charges were filed in the Cypress Lake fire, a Register man was charged with a misdemeanor for " setting a fire within feet of suppression efforts" by firefighters battling the blaze.
    Cypress Lake had been drained for repairs and a large section of the lake bed was dry when a fire began Nov. 12 and subsequently destroyed 260 acres before firefighters gained control of the blaze.
    Georgia Forestry Commission officers charged Bobby Ray Deloach, 63, Mike Brannen Road, Register, with "unlawful starting of land fires," according to information from the Bulloch County Jail.
    As firefighters and forestry officials fought the flames devouring Cypress Lake Nov. 14, Deloach set a fire just a short distance away, said Georgia Forestry Commission Public Information Officer Byron Haire.
    "When questioned, he stated that the landowner had given him permission to conduct the burn," Haire said. "Investigation later revealed that he did not have permission to burn on the property."
    Deloach did not offer an explanation of why he set the fire, "other than it needed burning," said Georgia Forestry Investigator Greg Daughtridge.
    While  Mr. Deloach has not been charged with setting the Cypress Lake fire, he does remain a person of interest, Haire said.
    Deloach said Wednesday he did not wish to comment on the incident.
    The fire is still being investigated by Georgia Forestry Commission investigators. Anyone with information regarding the fire and how it may have started please call; 912-681-0490.
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