Times Colonist

Arson likely cause of $700-million Slave Lake fire

RCMP will now proceed with a criminal investigat­ion

-

EDMONTON — The fire that ripped through Slave Lake, Alta., in mid-may and destroyed one-third of the town was likely caused by arson and will be investigat­ed by the RCMP, the province said Tuesday.

“Our investigat­ion into the origin of that fire ruled out everything but arson as a probable cause,” said Sustainabl­e Resource Develop- ment Minister Frank Oberle. “As a result, we have delivered our findings to the RCMP to determine if a criminal investigat­ion is the next step.”

The province’s announceme­nt came after a fivemonth investigat­ion, and all provincial files, including notes and physical evidence, have been handed to the RCMP.

Oberle called the conclusion disturbing.

Investigat­ors in the RCMP’S K-division Serious Crimes Branch are reviewing the files and will be in charge of any subsequent investigat­ion.

Police could not say how long that process would take.

The May 15 wildfire forced thousands to flee Slave Lake and caused an estimated $700 million in damage. It destroyed onethird of the town.

 ??  ?? Burned-out vehicles at the downtown Slave Lake Ford dealership on May 25.
Burned-out vehicles at the downtown Slave Lake Ford dealership on May 25.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada