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Florida Woman Arrested For Burning Down 3,500 Year Old Cypress Tree

The Senator – 3500 cypress tree

We all know that, for the most part, humans can be a careless and hopelessly irresponsible species. However, this story still comes as quite a devastating shock, even if you’re not much of a treehugger.

26 year old Sara Barnes apparently admitted on Tuesday that she set fire to The Senator, a 3,500 year old cypress tree at Big Tree Park in Seminole County, Florida.

The tree mysteriously burned to the ground on January 16, with the Department Of Forestry suspecting foul play at first. On January 17 they received a tip through the crime line, which led them to interview some friends of Ms. Barnes. They said she admitted to setting the fire, and is said to have had photos on her phone of the flames.

She was charged with intentional burning of land, a third-degree felony.

Aside from that, she also faces charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia after a search through her home. Deputies and agents also seized her cell phone and laptop, where they’re attempting to retrieve the photos she took of the fire.

When speaking of the fire, Barnes said she and a friend were inside the hollow tree in the early morning when they flicked their lighter on so they could see their drugs better. Yea, I’m not even kidding.

The tree stood at about 120 feet tall, with a trunk diameter of around 18 feet. It was dedicated by president Calvin Coolidge in 1929 and was the main attraction in the park.

via Click Orlando
Image CC licensed by Duane Burdick: The Senator in 2009

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