Lake Country wildfire intentionally set

RCMP are investigating the Okanagan Centre wildfire as arson.

The fire that sparked on July 15 in Lake Country was intentionally set and is being investigated as a criminal arson.

Police have concluded the blaze was started on purpose and is a criminal case. A dedicated tip line has helped officers with their investigation into the cause.

Cpl. Dan Moskaluk says a few groups of recreational users have been identified that were in the Okanagan Centre area on that day.

“Of particular note, we had a group of adult campers who were using a site near the origin of fire on Okanagan Centre Road,” he explains. “Initially we were looking for two groups, the one group has come forward and we have spoken with those individuals.”

However, now the RCMP would like to speak with the second group of people who were in the area on July 15, who may have witnessed anything of note.

“These people would be engaging in a sort of recreation on Okanagan Centre Road where the fire originated. They might have video of the area, or have seen a vehicle in the area.”

Photos, video and dash cam footage is also being requested by police to help with the investigation into the start of the blaze.

“Any photos or video captured by boaters, those on land, motorists, or residents with closed circuit CT cams, that recorded that day of the fire, we would be interested in viewing.”

Moskaluk says the significant damaged caused by the fire not only caused financial burden but also emotional harm for those who were evacuated or lost their homes.

“This was a very traumatic incident, and we do want to solve this matter. We have specialized resources and police dedicated to this fire, so we would like the public to be extra vigilant and report anything suspicious to police in this area or during this fire season.”

The point of origin has been located by investigators, which is along Okanagan Centre Road.

E Division Major Crime along with RCMP continue to investigate the cause of the blaze and are looking for tips from the public. Please contact the RCMP at 250-707-8025.

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