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WILDFIRE – Elephant Hill fire was caused by ‘smoking materials’ – report

Elephant Hill wildfire. (Image: CFJC)

An investigation has concluded that the 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire was caused by “smoking materials,” the BC Wildfire Service said today (May 4, 2020).

The wildfire started on July 6, 2017, about 2.5 kilometres southeast of Ashcroft. It eventually burned 191,865 hectares in B.C.’s south-central Interior region, including parts of both the Kamloops Fire Centre and Cariboo Fire Centre.

The BC Wildfire Service’s fire origin and cause specialists investigated and their report indicates that the most likely cause of the fire was smoking or smoking materials. The “smoking materials” classification includes matches, cigars, pipe tobacco, cigarettes and/or marijuana.

Other potential causes of the fire were eliminated as part of the investigation, including:

* lightning;

* escaped campfire;

* Category 2, Category 3 or Resource Management Open Fire activity;

* arson/suspicious; juvenile fire setter/fire use; equipment use;

* railroads;

* vehicles; and

* electrical transmission/utility line/pole.

The BC Wildfire Service’s fire origin and cause report was completed in fall 2017 and submitted as part of a larger RCMP investigation into the Elephant Hill wildfire. The RCMP recently concluded its investigation, so the BC Wildfire Service can now share its information regarding the cause of this wildfire, the service said in a news release.

“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.

“The BC Wildfire Service’s investigation into the Elephant Hill wildfire is now complete and no further action will be taken at this time.”

About Mel Rothenburger (7706 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on WILDFIRE – Elephant Hill fire was caused by ‘smoking materials’ – report

  1. R A George // May 6, 2020 at 9:35 AM // Reply

    The second to last paragraph explains it perfectly. As I remember it ,it was reported the day after it had started,it began in a yard on the reserve, meanwhile some poor smuck up in Quesnel is being billed for 15 million the details of which are presently being reported.This is all 3 years later?

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