Wildfire that threatened Alberta communities was arson: RCMP, province

Mounties and the government say they are looking for witnesses

A wildfire that threatened remote communities in north-central Alberta and torched 2,730 square kilometres of forest was deliberately set.

RCMP and Alberta government investigators have determined the McMillan wildfire started as a result of arson.

The wildfire began near the community of Wabasca on May 18 and grew to the point where it forced the evacuation of Wabasca and Peerless Trout First Nation.

It took until July 1 for firefighters to get the massive blaze under control.

Mounties and the government say they are looking for witnesses who may have seen an arsonist who started the wildfire.

Devin Dreeshen, minister of agriculture and forestry, says a reward is bring offered for information that leads to an arrest.

“The safety of Albertans is our top priority in fighting wildfires,” Dreeshen said in a release Tuesday.

“To the families affected by this wildfire who were evacuated, and to the forest industry who suffered losses, we will find the person responsible for the McMillian wildfire.”

Since March 1, the Alberta government says it recorded 982 wildfires in its Forest Protection Area that burned a total of 8,834 square kilometres of trees and bush.

The Canadian Press

READ MORE: Human-caused fire prompts McLeese Fire Chief to ask residents to stop burning grass

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ashcroft medical clinic switches to phone and video consultations

X-ray and blood labs remain open, plus a new doctor is accepting patients

COVID-19 info: New phone line connects local residents with support and services

Black Press is providing full coverage of the COVID-19 virus (also known… Continue reading

Ashcroft couple show their community cares, one heart at a time

Village joins World of Hearts movement with colourful displays

Ashcroft mayor urges citizens to be well-informed during COVID-19 pandemic

Facing the challenge of COVID-19 and keeping the community safe is the goal of mayor Barbara Roden

Ashcroft CiB plant swap takes on a new look and will last longer

Swap will go on over several days in a new location in Ashcroft

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C. First Nations Health Authority launches virtual doctor program

Program to provide primary health care through COVID-19 pandemic

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

VIDEO: B.C. singer creates frontline workers tribute song

Cambree Lovesy’s song saluting those battling COVID-19 draws interest online

Statistics Canada report looks at COVID-19’s impact on violence in the family

Police across Canada reported almost 100,000 cases of intimate partner violence in 2018

132,000 B.C. jobs lost just the start of COVID-19 impact, finance minister says

Finance Minister Carole James says ‘this isn’t the entire picture’

B.C. asking companies to contribute through online COVID-19 supply hub

New platform to co-ordinate, source, expedite supplies and equipment to support front-line workers

Controls can keep Canadian COVID-19 deaths under 22,000, health agency says

With poor containment measures, the death toll could be much, much higher, the agency says

Most Read