Arson is likely cause of a string of fires set in Marsh Creek near Fruitvale on Friday night. (Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire and Rescue photo)

Arson is likely cause of a string of fires set in Marsh Creek near Fruitvale on Friday night. (Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire and Rescue photo)

Arson suspected in several wildfires lit near Kootenay town

RCMP making progress in arson investigation of Marsh Creek fires

In a time of extreme fire danger, Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire and Rescue was put to the test on the weekend.

Regional fire and rescue crews extinguished a series of three intentionally set fires in Marsh Creek near Fruitvale on Friday, and another blaze on Tamarac Avenue in Trail on Saturday.

The first call came in at around 5 p.m. Friday, and regional firefighters from Trail, Montrose, and Fruitvale responded to a wildfire on Red Road near Marsh Creek Rd.

The fire was under control within a half hour, however, while regional crews and a BC Wildfire team were conducting an investigation, a second fire was set at 8:09 p.m.

“This time, it was a wood pile that the homeowner had purchased to heat their home for the upcoming winter,” said captain Grant Tyson. “Luckily one engine was still on scene with the investigation crew and was able to hold the fire until other resources arrived.”

Just over an hour later, the third fire of the night was lit back in the forest.

Fire crews were still on scene, so the flames were knocked down quickly and extinguished by 10 p.m.

“After (Friday’s) three calls, in the last seven days regional fire rescue has responded to six fires on Marsh Creek Rd.,” said Tyson. “We are on the edge of being ‘EXTREME’ on the BC Wildfire Danger Rating and are working hard to find the cause of these fires.”

Trail RCMP is leading the investigation, and Sgt. Mike Wicentowich said progress is being made.

“We have an investigative team put together … we have some good information and we’re going to be following up on it and hopefully this will come to a resolution.”

Wicentowich warns that people on social media should refrain from making assumptions and accusations before an arrest has been made.

“At this time, there’s a social media campaign about who it is, but I’d like to advise the public there has been no suspect identified at this time, we’re still working on that,” he said. “And we urge them not to blame people that may not be involved.”

Fire Chief Dan Derby said they were very appreciative of the support and cooperation they were getting from the RCMP and BC Wildfire service in the investigation.

“From a community perspective, we’re doing everything we can to respond to the incidents as they happen and from a community safety perspective, we are doing everything we can.”

Tamarac Avenue

A resident from across the Columbia River noticed a billowing plume of black smoke emanating from West Trail and made the call to the fire department around 8 a.m.

The fire started in a pile of tires between two homes on Tamarac Avenue, then quickly spread to the buildings. A duty crew from Trail was on scene in three minutes.

Additional apparatuses from Station 374 Trail and Station 372 Warfield assisted, and the suspicious blaze was out by 9:30 a.m.

“As to how it started is unclear at this point, but because of the tires being stored immediately adjacent to the building, and the fire starting at the base of the pile of tires, the fire spread quickly up one side of the building and into the attic,” said Derby.

Because of the steep location, accessing the area can be difficult, as Tamarac Avenue is a fragmented street along the slope of West Trail. Also, its close proximity to other houses and wooded areas in times of extreme heat can be potentially disastrous.

Fortunately an off-duty firefighter spotted the blaze and was able to assist the Trail crew in identifying the location, attacking it, and suppressing it quickly and successfully.

“One of our members was going home from work, and saw the smoke and was able to call back to the station and give them really good detail, and he actually got back to the station in time so we had a four-man response,” said Derby.

“The nice part is the guys just drove straight in, so it worked out really well and we were able to stretch a line and hold it and we had good support from all our members in Trail and Warfield.”

Anyone with information on the suspicious fires is asked to contact the Trail RCMP.



sports@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

bc wildfiresKootenay Boundary Regional District

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

Just Posted

LaRae Richards loads an order for deliver via Uber Eats Wednesday afternoon at Red Onion Burgers in Mountlake Terrace on May 17, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Uber Eats comes to Kelowna

There are more than 60 businesses on the online delivery platform

(Pixabay)
‘Roadmap out of COVID-19’: Innovate BC’s program helping businesses recover

CEO Raghwa Gopal said the tech sector is here to help brick and mortar businesses

(Pixabay photo)
COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kelowna school

Interior Health confirmed the exposure at Central Programs and Services on Jan. 25

Protesting farmers and their families gather around a bonfire to mark the harvest festival, which is called Lohri, on a blocked highway in protest against new farm laws on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. Changes in India’s farm laws could potentially open up one of the world’s most populous markets and are being closely watched by Canada’s agricultural and economic sectors, say experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Altaf Qadri
UBCO students asking for support in raising funds for Indian farmers

UBCO’s Bhangra Club and Punjabi Student Association are raising funds for Khalsa Aid

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP impounded a car after the driver was caught doing 113 km/hr in a 50 zone. (RCMP image)
113 in a 50 gets North Okanagan car impounded

RCMP caught speeder near Village Green Mall at 5 a.m.

Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
2 years after his riderless horse was found, police believe Merritt cowboy was killed

Two years after he went missing, Ben Tyner’s family makes video plea for information

A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

Seats in the waiting area of domestic departures lounge of Calgary International Airport are seen with caution tape on them on June 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
3-in-4 Canadians in favour of banning interprovincial travel: Poll

According to Research Co., 80 per cent of Canadians would like to see restrictions imposed

A proposed development would see two four-storey apartment buildings erected on Adair Street in Armstrong, next to the Nor-Val Sports Centre. Council voted 6-1 Monday, Jan. 25, in favour of rezoning the property. (Google Maps)
Okanagan city paves way for potential affordable housing project

Armstrong council votes 6-1 to rezone an Adair Street city-owned property despite opposition

The shirts sell for $45, with 30 per cent of proceeds from each sale going to Battered Women’s Support Services in Vancouver. (Madame Premier/Sarah Elder-Chamanara)
Canadian company launches ‘hysterical’ T-Shirt to combat health officials’ use of word

A partnership with Tamara Taggart will see women broadcast the word on a T-shirt or tote bag

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read