The Associated Press and other reputable sources are reporting the arrest of Keith Eugene Mann, a 49-year-old man from Franklin, North Carolina. Federal prosecutors charged Mann on November 30, 2016 with one count of destroying property by means of fire.
Early media reports erroneously said the accused arsonist’s name was “Keith Eugene Mann Franklin,” instead of “Keith Eugene Mann” from Franklin, NC.
Authorities accuse Mann of starting two wildfires inside the Nantahala National Forest in Macon County.
One fire was reported on Thursday, October 27th. Investigators believed it was set intentionally. Five additional blazes nearby were also suspected to have been the work of an arsonist.
On Thursday, November 22nd, the second wildfire was reported. Reports say authorities found burnt matches next to a cardboard box at the scene the next day.