Two men arrested for allegedly starting wildfires in Monroe, Sequatchie counties

Left to right: Charles Edward Martin and Matthew Ryan Wallace

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Two men were arrested for allegedly starting wildfires in Monroe and Sequatchie counties in Tennessee.

Investigators with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Crime Unit arrested Matthew Ryan Wallace, 27, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Wallace was accused of igniting a wildfire along Standifer Grant Road in Sequatchie County on Monday.

Wallace was charged with setting fire to personal property or land, a Class E felony, punishable with up to 6 years incarceration and a fine of up to $3000.

Monroe County deputies arrested Charles Edward Martin, 50, of Madisonville on Monday. Martin was accused of deliberately setting a fire on Gamble Road.

Martin was charged with charged with setting fire to personal property or land, reckless burning and resisting arrest.

In 2016, about 1,238 wildfires have burned across the state. Almost 50% of those are suspected arson, according to the state.

Governor Bill Haslam ordered a regional burn ban for East Tennessee counties Monday evening.

People could receive as much as $2500 for a tip that leads to an arson arrest and conviction.

The arson hotline is 1-800-762-3017 and is answered 24 hours a day. People can also report arson activity to the TDA Ag Crime Unit at 1-844-AGCRIME (1-844-242-7463). Callers may remain anonymous.