A B.C. woman is facing multiple arson charges after police say she intentionally started a number of wildfires in the province’s southeast earlier this spring.
Kamloops resident Angela Elise Cornish, 42, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with four counts of arson, according to an RCMP statement. She is being kept behind bars until a bail hearing scheduled for Monday.
Lisa Hudema, wildfire enforcement superintendent for the B.C. Wildfire Service, said her agency began working with police after identifying “an area of interest” near Kamloops where several recent human-caused fires were suspected to be “incendiary in nature.”
Mounties say they were alerted to Cornish’s alleged connection to the fires after someone living in the Monte Lake area who was checking out smoke in the hills nearby on April 30 noticed a suspicious blue pickup truck on a logging road.
Police alerted the community on May 3, after receiving reports of an unknown person lighting slash piles on fire in two locations in the Westwold area.
Investigators say more locals have since stepped forward to report similar encounters with the pickup truck, which was driven by a woman.
“I wish to acknowledge the tremendous assistance of the Monte Lake and Westwold residents, who provided our investigators with the valuable information we needed to successfully advance this investigation,” RCMP Chief Supt. Brad Haugli said in the statement.
Any wildfires spotted across B.C. this spring and summer can be reported to the wildfire service at 1-800-663-5555 or by dialing *5555 on a cellphone.