Police believe Slave Lake's 237,000-hectare wildfire was started by arson

Oct 24 2019, 2:31 pm

It has been nearly three months since the McMillan wildfire near Slave Lake was finally contained, a fire that took over a month to extinguish and had burned through over 273,000 hectares.

Following a lengthy investigation, the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and the Alberta RCMP can now confirm that they believe an arsonist to have been behind the devastating wildfire.

“The safety of Albertans is our top priority in fighting wildfires,” said Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, in the release.

“To the families affected by this wildfire who were evacuated, and to the forest industry who suffered losses, we will find the person responsible for the McMillan wildfire. This is an important step in helping to build trust in Alberta’s justice system.”

The fire threatened many communities in the area and caused an extended evacuation of Wabasca and Peerless Trout First Nation.

The McMillan wildfire accounted for roughly a quarter of the devastation that wildfires caused to the province this past summer, as a total of 883,412 hectares were burned by the time all 982 wildfires had been put under control.

Anyone with information on the details of how the McMillan wildfire started, or any other fires in the area, are asked to contact 1-833-999-3473. Tips that lead to arrests may warrant a reward, the release states.