An aspiring internet weatherman in eastern Kentucky was recently arrested on second-degree arson charges after authorities say he intentionally started a wildfire, the Associated Press reports. According to police, 21-year-old Johnny Mullins admitted to setting the fire to bring wider attention to his videos on Facebook.
Screencap: Facebook/Johnny Mullins
“He likes to do Facebook videos and have people follow him on his ‘weather forecast,’ so that’s pretty much why he did what he did,” James Stephens, police chief of Jenkins, Kentucky, told the AP. “He enjoyed the attention he got from the Facebook stuff.”
In his most recent video, titled “Dangerous Forest fires to continue,” Mullins stands in front of a smouldering background and warns viewers to be “extremely careful if you’re out there.”
“As you can see behind me, we are dealing with some forest fire conditions across Virginia over there and of course its leading to some smoke over here in eastern Kentucky,” says Mullins. “We will continue to keep you updated here on ‘Weather Outlook.’ Have a great day.”
Charactering Mullins as “misguided,” Stephens expressed sadness over the situation.
“It’s really too bad because he’s not a bad kid,”said Stephens. “He didn’t realise how much danger he was putting other people in.”
In the end, Mullins arrest may bring him the attention his videos alone could not: Since Saturday morning, views of “Dangerous Forest fires to continue” have almost doubled.