Two Oliver wildfires from several years ago are part of a larger group that RCMP believe could be connected and have been intentionally started.
RCMP, with support from the BC Wildfire Service, are investigating a series of 29 wildfires believed to have been deliberately set in the Okanagan Valley in the past four years.
A fire on Mt. Kobau on July 15, 2014 and one on Pampas Grass Way on August 7, 2015 are among others, including one in Osoyoos on Richter Pass on July 9, 2014 and more in Okanagan Falls, Naramata, Penticton, Summerland and Lake Country.
The fires date from July of 2014 to as recently as September 1, 2017.
RCMP say that evidence gathered during investigations has led to the belief that the fires are connected and the cause was arson.
As a result the Southeast District RCMP Intentionally Set Wildfires Task Force was created in May to further investigate the wildfires and identify the person(s) responsible.
Members of the task force are working in partnership with the BC Wildfire Service and other impacted stakeholders.
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 majority of these fires were lit in interface settings,” says S/Sgt. Annie Linteau, BC RCMP.
“One of these fires, which occurred on July 15, 2017, in Lake Country, destroyed a number of homes. Thankfully, no one was injured or killed but the potential for the loss of life was considerable.”
The Southeast District RCMP Intentionally Set Wildfires Task Force asks anyone who has any information about any of the 29 wildfires or who may have seen anyone suspicious around the area to contact the designated tip line 1-855-685-8788 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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