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Port Alberni man arrested for arson as RCMP investigate rash of wildfires

Charges ‘not necessarily’ connected to human-caused fires in forested areas
A firefighter with Port Alberni Fire Department mops up a fire in Dry Creek Park early Tuesday, July 13, 2021. It was the second fire crews attended in a few hours in Dry Creek. (PHOTO COURTESY PAFD)

Port Alberni RCMP have arrested and charged a person with two counts of arson, but won’t say whether the charges are connected with a series of recent fires set in city parks.

A 34-year-old male was arrested July 14, 2021 and charged with two counts of arson and one charge “unrelated to those offences,” Port Alberni RCMP said. The suspect, who police declined to name, was remanded in custody and will remain so until his next court appearance on July 21.

“Investigation of recent fire setting incidents in wooded areas of Port Alberni continue and are not necessarily attributable to this person,” an RCMP spokesperson said.

READ: Port Alberni RCMP investigate rash of fires in Dry Creek Park

The male is known to police.

Port Alberni RCMP and the Port Alberni Fire Department are asking the public for their assistance in solving the rash of human-caused fires over the past two weeks. Observations, dashcam or other video may assist to identify those responsible before there is a significant loss to fire or serious injury.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to contact the RCMP detachment (general inquiries line) at 250-723-2424.

READ: Port Alberni Fire Department douses multiple outdoor fires again

With the current weather and winds RCMP and PAFD remind the public it is crucial to control all potential sources of ignition and be mindful of activities in the area that may result in fires. For fire response within the city of Port Alberni call 911 and ask for Fire, if suspects or suspicious activity is observed request Police as well.

To report a wildfire or irresponsible behaviour that could start a wildfire in British Columbia, please call 1 800 663-5555 or (*5555 from a cell phone).

There is currently a province-wide campfire and open fire ban in British Columbia.

About the Author: Alberni Valley News Staff

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