British Columbia

Charges possible as RCMP wrap investigation into devastating Elephant Hill wildfire

Mounties have wrapped up their investigation into 2017's massive Elephant Hill wildfire and passed on their findings to Crown for consideration of charges.

2017 Interior B.C. fire destroyed more than 120 homes, burned 192,000 hectares

The Elephant Hill wildfire was one of the most destructive in recent B.C. history. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Mounties have wrapped up their investigation into 2017's massive Elephant Hill wildfire and passed on their findings to Crown for consideration of charges.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet called the 192,000-hectare wildfire one of the largest investigated by police in her memory.

She said it will be up to Crown prosecutors to determine if anyone should be charged in connection with the blaze, and what those charges might be.

"It was a very complex and long investigation that has taken us now over two years to get to this point, and we are committed to working with the B.C. Prosecution Service through that charge assessment process," Shoihet told CBC.

The Elephant Hill wildfire was one of the most destructive in recent B.C. history, levelling more than 120 homes over 76 days. It burned through the Ashcroft, Boston Flats, Loon Lake and Pressy Lake areas of the Interior during a record-breaking season.

RCMP announced in January 2018 that the fire was caused by humans, and asked the public for any tips that might help with their investigation.

Dan McLaughlin, spokesperson for the B.C. Prosecution Service, said he did not have a timeline for when Crown might complete the charge assessment process.

With files from Dan Burritt

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.