RCMP investigating possibility wildfires near Sayward were intentionally lit

RCMP investigating possibility wildfires near Sayward were intentionally lit
BC Wildfire Service
The Newcastle Creek wildfire is estimated at 230 hectares and RCMP are now looking into the possibility it was intentionally lit.

Over one month after the first fire was discovered, RCMP are now investigating the possibility that five wildfires outside of Sayward were intentionally lit.

In a release, police say members of the public are asked to come forward with any information about the fires.

In June, Sayward RCMP were informed that the fires, which are believed to be human-caused, may have been set on purpose.

Two of the wildfires are currently active — the Newcastle Creek wildfire, which was first discovered on May 29 and is being held at 230 hectares, and the Browning Creek wildfire, which was discovered on July 3 and is estimated at 1.96 hectares.

The other three fires have been extinguished, these were along the Memekay, White River and Big Tree Mainlines.

“Witnesses in the area of Browning Creek just prior to its discovery observed some quad riders nearby,” said Staff Sgt. Kris Clark of the BC RCMP. “Police are looking to speak with anyone, including the riders, who may have seen anything suspicious in the area of the Browning Creek fire, or any of the other fires.”

Clark tells CHEK News police are considering the possibility that the fires are connected.

“The BC Wildfire Service has rated the fire danger on the Island as mostly extreme with just a few pockets of high,” Clark said.

“The conditions are extreme, there’s potential here for a wildfire to get completely out of control and cause not only structure damage, but potentially endanger lives. So we want to get to the bottom of this quickly and stop these fires from occurring.”

Police are asking for dashcam footage on July 3 in the area between Sabre Road and Ryans Road.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Island District General Investigations Section at 250-331-6010.

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Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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