A Bristow man was charged this afternoon with violating a burn ban and starting the massive wildfires that burned through Creek County last month.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Billy Cloud, of Bristow. He's charged with third degree arson and violating a burn ban.
According to the arrest warrant issued, a Creek County deputy was told by a woman that neighbors had been drinking and their cigarettes had caused the fire.
There are several homes around the Cloud residence. Another close neighbor, Jennifer Bivins, says the flames came as close as ten feet from her home and they spent five nights up watching the land to make sure nothing else caught on fire.
Bivins says it's hard knowing that your neighbors, which she grew up with, would not pay attention to the dry condition.
"It's sad just one little incident devastated so many people and so many lives," says Bivins.
Bivins says her family would help the Cloud family if their car broke down on the road. She says it's hard knowing your neighbor is suspected of starting the fires. But they don't hold any ill will against him. She says they had a good idea where it started and having charges filed does close the questions.
"When we drove down there we could kind of see where we thought it had started. I guess it lays it to rest a little bit. We would just like to see people follow the law," says Bivins.
If convicted, Cloud could face up to 10 years behind bars for the arson charge and 3 years for violating the burn ban, prosecutors said.
The wildfires burned more than 58,000 acres and destroyed dozens of homes.
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