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'Smoking materials' likely cause of Elephant Hill wildfire, says BC Wildfire Service

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated May 4, 2020 at 8:55 pm PDT

FILE - The Elephant Hill wildfire burned 191,865 hectares in the south-central Interior region. (Courtesy BC Wildfire Service, Twitter)
Summary

Charges unlikely as insufficient evidence to identify person responsible

Other potential causes of the fire were eliminated as part of the investigation

BC Wildfire Service investigation into the Elephant Hill wildfire is now complete

KAMLOOPS (NEWS 1130) — Smoking materials likely caused the Elephant Hill wildfire in 2017, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Investigation results were released Monday.

“The BC Wildfire Service and RCMP investigations did not uncover sufficient evidence to identify the person whose actions started the Elephant Hill wildfire. Therefore, it was not possible to lay charges or pursue cost recovery for damages caused by this fire,” says a BC Wildfire Service release.

The fire started on July 6, 2017, about 2.5 kilometres southeast of Ashcroft. It eventually burned 191,865 hectares in the south-central Interior region.

BC Wildfire Service fire origin and cause specialists investigated the fire and determined the cause was “smoking or smoking materials.”

Smoking materials include matches, cigars, pipe tobacco, cigarettes and marijuana.

Other potential causes of the fire were eliminated as part of the investigation, including lightning, an escaped campfire, arson, railroads, vehicles, and electrical transmission, such as a utility pole.

The fire origin and cause report was completed in fall 2017 and submitted as part of a larger RCMP investigation into the Elephant Hill wildfire.

Police recently concluded its investigation, allowing the BC Wildfire Service to share its information.

The BC Wildfire Service investigation into the Elephant Hill wildfire is now complete.