Help Needed To Apprehend Arsonist
Jun 25, 2009
NANAIMO - Deliberately set wildfires on private and public lands continue to pose a risk to residents, property and public infrastructure in the Mount Benson area.
To date this year, the Ministry of Forests and Range has responded to 38 person-caused wildfires around Mount Benson - a 700 per cent increase over the annual average of 5.4 wildfires in the same location. In 2007, crews responded to 11 human-caused fires.
Deliberately set wildfires represent a significant percentage of the most costly fires in B.C., based on number of fires, hectares burned and overall expenditures. The Mount Benson fires also pose additional risks to the Nanaimo watershed and local water quality.
Members of the public can help by reporting any suspicious activity using the principle of "observe, record and report":
Crimes can be reported anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or through www.bccrimestoppers.com. Cash rewards of up to $2,000 are possible for tips resulting in arrests and charges.
- If you observe suspicious behaviour related to the setting of wildfires;
- Record details of your observations (i.e. physical descriptions of the people and vehicles involved); and
- Report them immediately to the RCMP.
Individuals charged with deliberately starting a wildfire could face up to 14 years in prison under Section 434 of the Criminal Code of Canada, or life imprisonment under Section 433.
Under the Wildfire Act, a contravention could include a maximum $1 million fine and up to three years in prison.
Reference #: 2009FOR-0006-000034
Date released: Jun 25, 2009
Region: Coast Forest Region
Fire Information Officer
Coastal Fire Centre
The Ministry of Forests and Range web site is http://www.gov.bc.ca/for
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