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Contributed photo

Jacob Walls, 28, of Harrison

FORT SMITH — A Harrison man has been arrested and charged in connection with a wildland fire within the Buffalo National River in February 2019, according to U.S. District Attorney David Clay Fowlkes.

Fowlkes said Jacob Walls, 28, of Harrison has been indicted by a federal grand jury alleging he willfully and without authority and consent of the United States set fire to National Park Service land.

In February 2019, National Park Service Firefighters and US Park Rangers were dispatched to the report of a wildland fire in Newton County near Pruitt. The fire was contained by NPS Firefighters to prevent its spread onto private lands.

Records show Walls is currently held in the Ouachita River prison unit in Malvern on convictions in Boone County for theft by receiving, possession of controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and probation revocation, as well as residential burglary, theft of property and theft by receiving in Newton County and breaking or entering in Searcy County.

A trial date has been set for Dec. 7.

An indictment is an allegation and Wells is presumed innocent until convicted. Wells faces up to five years in prison and fines up to $250,000.00 if convicted.

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