Suspicion of arsonist at work played down by Kelowna fire deparment

Dumpster fires routine in summer months and structure fire labelled suspicious simply because cause unknown.

The Kelowna Fire Department is confident it is not looking at a firebug, despite a handful of dumpster fires and a structure fire deemed suspicious.

Deputy fire chief Larry Hollier reiterated comments made by fire chief Jeff Carlisle last week, prior to Thursday evening’s house fire on Bach Road, noting there is nothing to suggest the fires, while suspicious, are the handiwork of an arsonist.

“We don’t have any concerns at this time and the Bach Road fire, right now, is still being investigated. So, unless there’s a positive identifier (or cause) right off, then it’s deemed suspicious until it’s ruled out,” said Hollier.

“It hasn’t been ruled out yet.”

The dumpster fires occurred a week and a half ago and another occurred Sunday evening.

This too is not out of the ordinary, according to Hollier.

Dumpster fires are a common occurrence in the summer when there’s plenty of foot traffic on the street and the number in recent weeks is actually less than when there were dumpsters in back alleys downtown in years gone by.

BC Wildfire Management Branch statistics do suggest there have been more human-caused wildfires in the region than lightning.

The Smith Creek fire, Boucherie fires and Trepanier Creek fire are all being looked at as having been caused by people; although no inference has been made as to how any of the blazes got going.

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