TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — At least six outside fires have erupted over the past few weeks around the Park Hill Road and Willis Road area, leading Tahlequah Fire Department investigators to suspect foul play.

The TFD responded to a call Nov. 25, two on Nov. 27, one Dec. 3 and two on Dec. 4 about outside and brush fires in that area. Four of the blazes were specifically on the corner of the roads where a field is located.

"From our experience, it appears the fires are set intentionally," said Fire Chief Ray Hammons. "I think it may be someone from that area."

The fire chief added this is the third year in a row wherein the department has responded to multiple outside or brush fire calls in that area.

"There always seems to be a suspected [fire]bug out there during the dry season," he said.

While responding to a fire at the corner of Willis Road and Park Hill Road Monday night, investigators questioned a man who was walking along Park Hill Road, but no determination was made regarding his involvement.

Assistant Fire Chief Casey Baker said crews have requested help in patrolling the area from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office.

Officials are also asking that citizens in the area be on the look out for any suspicious activity.

"We are currently having law enforcement patrol and having neighbors be lookouts," Baker said. "We're going to need help from them."

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