An aspiring weatherman in Kentucky has been charged with arson after he allegedly started a wildfire and then uploaded the video on Facebook.
The 21-year-old Johnny Mullins admitted to the crime of starting the wildfire, according to the local police chief.
Starting A Wildfire For Facebook Views
“It’s really too bad because he’s not a bad kid — he’s just misguided,” said Jenkins, Kentucky police chief James Stephens.
Mullin likes making Facebook videos and then having people follow him as he does his “weather forecast,” Stephens said. He called the videos as his “Weather Outlook” segments.
“So that’s pretty much why he did what he did. He enjoyed the attention he got from the Facebook stuff,” Stephens added.
Mullins has received charges of second-degree arson. Requests for comments did not receive any response from Mullin.
The Price Of Facebook Attention
Ever since social networks started, users have been craving to gain attention from other users. Mullins is certainly not the first user to have wanted to get the attention of others on Facebook, but his actions certainly warranted criminal charges.
“He didn’t realize how much danger he was putting other people in,” said Stephens. Wildfires, while possibly starting out very small and tame, can intensify into uncontrollable flames at a moment’s notice, What Mullins did in order to gain views on his Facebook video was largely irresponsible, as it would have endangered not only him but the rest of the people living in his community.
It is not clear, however, how much damage was caused by the wildfire that Mullins started.
Wildfires In The Southeast
The wildfire that Mullins started was just one of the at least 30 wildfires that have started in the region since Nov. 4. More than 5,000 firefighters from all over the country are helping to put out the flames.
In Tennessee, a firefighter was hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisoning after helping extinguish a fire in White County. A man from the state was also charged for starting fires and vandalism which caused damages worth over $250,000 outside of Chattanooga.
In Harlan County, also in Kentucky where Mullins was charged, a teenager was also arrested for arson last week.
Other Wildfire News
It was reported back in June that due to the El Niño phenomenon, there could be more cases of wildfires in the Amazon rainforest this year. Spikes in the number of wildfires in Alaska around the same time were also suggested to be contributing to the worsening state of global warming.
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