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Cass Lake Has An Arson Problem

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CASS LAKE (AP) – Last month’s arrest of a 17-year-old boy in a suspected arson fire that scored 76 forested acres near Cass Lake was just the latest indication that the city has problem with fire-setting.

Arson statistics from 2009 through 2012 and found Cass Lake has a rate much higher than the statewide average.

Cass Lake reported 22 intentional fires in that period, which equals almost 35 per 1,000 people. The statewide average for the same period was just 3.3.

County emergency director Kerry Swenson wouldn’t guess at a reason for all the arsons. Garr Pemberton, assistant tribal police chief for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, says most of the fires are started by kids who see them as entertainment.

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