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David Icove
David Icove

David Icove, a faculty member in the Tickle College of Engineering and a globally-acclaimed expert on fires, recently spoke with the Knoxville News Sentinel about the ongoing plague of wildfires in East Tennessee.

Icove, the UL Professor of Practice in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, said that most fires are set as acts of vandalism or to clear brush, and that a majority of those intentionally setting fires are younger thrill seekers.

In fact, according to the News Sentinel six of the seven most recent arson arrests in Tennessee occurred in East Tennessee, with all but one suspect under 50.

“In some cases, they will actually come back to the scene and surveil from a distance and watch the firefighting efforts. They might even call in the fire to the authorities, “Icove said. “I had one case where the arsonist not only returned to the scene but photographed the activities of the fire investigators.”

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