Vandals Set Fires in Ashland
The sheriff's department says the vandals set fire to hay bales causing more than $2,000 in damage.
"As I was coming around the corner I saw my house enshrouded in smoke," explained homeowner Pattie Smeaten.
Smeaten owns a horse stable just outside of Ashland. The weekend fires came as a shock.
"I was really scared when we were out there doing this, because the fires just kept coming up," Smeaten said.
The hay feeds Smeaten's horses. She's thankful it wasn't worse.
"Fortunately I had all the horses up in the barn, otherwise, yeah it could have been a major problem, plus the smoke, I mean it smoked all day yesterday, it wasn't until we had that light rain it helped put it out," Smeaten said.
At nearly $50 a bale, the cost adds up.
"I figured, you know, we saved some of the bales, and you know they might come back, I don't know, but there's not much you can do, you know keep an eye out, and now everyone around the neighborhood is alerted to it," Smeaten said.
The fires at Smeaten's property are just one of five spots near Ashland where fires were reported. The vandals burned hay at Fox Hollow Road, South Mount Pleasant Road, Highway DD, the intersection of Highways MM and M, and the intersection of Arnold Lane and Highway 63.
At the five sites combined, about 50 hay bales were damaged.At some of the sites, the vandals spray painted the initials "AV" on the bales. The Sheriff's department has some leads, but no suspects. If you have any information on the fires, call crime stoppers at 573-875-TIPS.