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4 suspicious fires break out on First Nation reserve near Kamloops, B.C.

·2 min read
Fire trucks at a Kamloops Fire Rescue station.  (Kamloops Fire Rescue/Facebook - image credit)
Fire trucks at a Kamloops Fire Rescue station. (Kamloops Fire Rescue/Facebook - image credit)

Kamloops Fire Rescue is investigating a number of suspicious fires on a First Nations reserve on Monday.

In a statement this week, the City of Kamloops said there were four fires on the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc lands — east of downtown Kamloops — one of which resulted in firefighters being called out.

Kamloops Fire teamed up with First Nation's Natural Resources and the Planning and Engineering departments to fight it.

Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Kúkpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir says the fires are concerning because they all occured within a 24-hour window and some of them were close to homes.

"Two of them were closer to the river, and another one was very close to a residential area," Casimir said Wednesday to Shelley Joyce, the host of CBC's Daybreak Kamloops. "Had those winds been up, those homes would not be standing."

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Chief Rosanne Casimir says the fires happened close to some homes.
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Chief Rosanne Casimir says the fires happened close to some homes.(Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc)

Casimir declined to comment on whether she thinks the fires were arsons but allowed that they were definitely suspicious.

"Fires do not start at those times of the night when people are still sleeping," she said.

Kamloops has had sunny and dry weather this week with humidity around 30 per cent and temperatures of up to 25 C.

Kamloops Fire Chief Steve Robinson says he doesn't think the fires on Tk'emlúps lands were naturally caused. He says members living on the reserve need to be on high alert amid the current dry weather.

"We know that there's been no significant precipitation in the last four to six weeks, and in the city of Kamloops … the brush and the fields are dry, so we all need to be careful," he said Tuesday.

The city says Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc and Kamloops Fire Rescue are working with the RCMP to try to determine the cause of the fires and prevent future incidents.

Tap the link below to hear Kúkpi7 Rosanne Casimir on Daybreak Kamloops:

Tap the link below to hear Steve Robinson's interview on Daybreak Kamloops: