RCMP investigate after two suspicious wildfires sparked in B.C.'s north Okanagan

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VERNON, B.C. — RCMP in British Columbia's north Okanagan say they are "incredibly concerned" that someone may be intentionally trying to spark wildfires.

A statement from Vernon North Okanagan RCMP says officers are investigating "suspicious circumstances" surrounding two wildfires in the Westwold area on Monday.

Police say they received reports that a person was lighting slash piles on fire in the same area that was charred by a major wildfire last year that eventually covered more than 550 square kilometres and destroyed almost 80 properties.

The statement says the BC Wildfire Service responded quickly to the fires on separate forest service roads and contained both, preventing their spread.

A small blue pickup truck driven by a woman was reported to have been seen leaving the area of both fires, but an air and ground search by Mounties did not find the truck and police say the report is unconfirmed.

Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area is asked to contact RCMP.

The investigation is very active, says Const. Chris Terleski.

"After the destruction and devastation caused by wildfires last year, we appreciate and understand how terribly unsettling this is for residents," Terleski says in the statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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