Fort McMurray wildfire 'likely' result of human activity: RCMP
A wildfire burns south of Fort McMurray, Alberta on May 7, 2016. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Wednesday, June 15, 2016 11:18AM EDT
Fire investigators in Alberta have determined a wildfire that devastated parts of Fort McMurray last month was “most likely” the result of human activity.
In a news release, the RCMP said that investigators ruled out lightning as the “probable cause” of the wildfire, which began in early May and prompted a massive evacuation in several Fort McMurray communities. Officials have dubbed the wildfire MWF-009.
As a result, the RCMP is asking for the public’s help in the investigation into the cause of the wildfire, which an airborne forestry crew first spotted 15 kilometres southwest of Fort McMurray on May 1.
“The role of the RCMP is to determine whether a criminal offence was involved in the ignition of the fire MWF-009,” the statement read. “To date, police have not made a determination on how the fire was started, but would like to speak with anyone who was in the popular wilderness area known as the Horse River Trail System between April 29-May 5.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the RCMP’s dedicated toll-free wildfire investigation phone line at 1-844-620-9826, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.