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Illegal burning results in six misdemeanor charges

A 56-year-old East Flat Rock woman faces six misdemeanor charges after she violated Henderson County's ban on burning, the sheriff's office said.

Sheriff's deputies and Blue Ridge Fire and Rescue personnel responded to a call about illegal burning at 115 Victoria Drive in East Flat Rock shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday. After firefighters extinguished a small fire in the yard, deputies determined that the fire had been intentionally set by the resident, Evangelina Rodriguez. Before deputies could question Rodriguez about the fire, she fled back into the home. Deputies obtained warrants for Rodriguez for intentionally lighting a fire, a violation of the burning ban now in effect in the county. When deputies returned to arrest Rodriguez she assaulted two deputies as she was being taken into custody, the sheriff's office said. Neither the deputies nor Rodriguez were injured during the incident. Rodriguez was charged with the following:
·        Misdemeanor open burning when prohibited
·        2 counts of misdemeanor assault on a government official
·        2 counts of resisting a public officer
·        Failure to appear on an unrelated misdemeanor assault charge
Rodriguez was jailed on a $4,700 bond.

Authorities announced earlier Tuesday that law officers would lodge criminal charges against individuals caught violating the burning ban that was issued by the fire marshal on Nov. 7.

Under authority of the Henderson County Code, Section 78-16.1, all outdoor burning is prohibited in areas within 100 feet of a structure. The penalties for violating the burning ban include a $500 fine and court costs. The Henderson County burning ban coincides with the statewide burning ban and shall remain in effect until cancelled.

“We must make every effort to do what we are able to do under the law to minimize the possibility of additional wildfires being ignited. We ask our citizens to assist us in implementing this burning ban,” said County Manager Steve Wyatt.