Authorities: N.J. man set at least 12 small wildfires

Multiple counts of arson have been filed a southern New Jersey man accused of setting at least 12 small wildfires during a six-week period this summer.

State officials say 38-year-old Michael Evangelista, of Mullica Township, was identified as a suspect after a joint investigation by Mullica police and the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. The investigation included the use of surveillance and a K-9 unit.

The fires, each an acre or less in size, were reported in July and August in Mullica. In each instance, firefighters were able to extinguish the flames and keep them from spreading.

Authorities reported no property damage in connection with any of the fires.

A telephone number for Evangelista could not be located Sunday, and it was not known if he has retained an attorney.

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