The RCMP have concluded their investigation into the 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire, and have now turned the file over to the BC Prosecution Service.
“This was a complex file that took the time necessary given the scope and scale of the investigation,” RCMP Staff. Sgt. Janelle Shoihet tells The Journal.
“Our investigative findings have recently been provided to the BC Prosecution Service and we will continue to address any additional requirements they may have as part of the charge assessment process.”
Shoihet says that process is also a complex one.
“They have to review all the investigative findings and see what charges would be appropriate. We’re committed that if they need further information we’ll provide that as they move forward. If the investigation requires follow-up they’ll shoot it back to us, and then we’ll go back to them.”
Shoihet says the case is the largest wildfire investigation she can remember.
The investigation into the Elephant Hill wildfire has been underway since the fire expanded in size on July 7, 2017. It destroyed more than 200 homes and buildings, forced the evacuation of thousands of people, and burned more than 192,000 hectares. It was not brought completely under control until late September 2017.
Early in the investigation, it was determined that the fire was human-caused, although railway activity has been ruled out as a possible cause.