An arson investigation into a series of wildfires across the Okanagan since 2014 includes seven believed to be intentionally lit in Lake Country. Photo: Lake Country Calendar files

Arson suspected in series of Okanagan wildfires

RCMP task force investigation believes 29 wildfires intentionally set

RCMP are continuing an investigation based on the premise that 29 wildfires were deliberately set across the Okanagan Valley dating back to 2014.

The fires occurred in Naramata, Okanagan Falls, Osoyoos, Penticton, Summerland and Lake Country, within a time frame from 2014 to 2017.

S/Sgt. Annie Linteau said the Southeast District RCMP Intentionally Set Wildfires Task Force struck in May to carry out the investigation, with the assistance of the B.C. Wildfire Service and other impacted stakeholders, believes the fires are connected and the cause has been determined to be arson.

Map of fire locations.

—The task force has the ability to focus on all related historical and future wildfires, regardless of jurisdictional and inter-agency boundaries, which have been caused by arson.

“The investigation so far has allowed us to see similarities in all these fires but I can’t really say anything more beyond that so as not to jeopardize what is an ongoing investigation,” Linteau said.

Linteau acknowledged the update was timed to coincide with the traditional start of forest fire season, as the task force is still looking for more information from the public.

“It is always more difficult with the passage of time, but any information, whether you might think it is insignificant or not, might be helpful,” she said.

The 29 wildfires include, in part, the following:

• July 7, 2014, K50209, Naramata

• July 7, 2014, White Lake Rd, Penticton

• July 9, 2014, Richter Pass, Osoyoos

• July 15, 2014, Mt. Kobau, Oliver

• July 15, 2014, Apex Rd, Penticton

• July 17, 2014, Reservoir Rd / Landfill Rd, Penticton

• July 22, 2014, White Lake Rd, Okanagan Falls

• August 11, 2014, Chute Lake Rd, Naramata

• August 11, 2014, Green Mountain Rd, Penticton

• August 13, 2014, White Lake Rd, Penticton

• August 19, 2014, North Naramata Rd, Naramata

• September 15, 2014, Green Mountain Rd, Penticton

• July 2, 2015, Canyon View Rd, Summerland

• August 7, 2015, Pampas Grass Way, Oliver

• August 8, 2015, Spiller Rd, Penticton

• August 11, 2015, Commonage Rd, Lake Country

• August 11, 2015, Beaver Lake Rd, Lake Country

• August 12, 2015, Gulch Rd, Naramata

• August 14, 2015, White Lake Rd, Penticton

• April 9, 2016, Fairview-Cawston Rd, Cawston

• August 17, 2016, Commonage Rd, Lake Country

• August 17, 2016, Oyama Rd, Lake Country

• July 3, 2017, Pixie Beach, Lake Country

• July 15, 2017, Okanagan Centre Rd W, Lake Country

• September 1, 2017, Westhills Rd, Penticton

• September 1, 2017, Old Princeton Hwy, Summerland

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@BarryGerding
barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

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