Lightning has been ruled out, and now the search is on.
RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in determining the cause of “MWF-009” A.K.A. “The Beast.” Wildfire investigators and the province say the cause of the wildfire was likely human activity.
The RCMP’s role is to investigate whether there was criminal activity involved in the act of starting the fire. They wish to speak with anyone who traveled the Horse River trail system between April 29 and May 5, as the blaze was first discovered on May 1.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry have warned against careless use of off-highway-vehicles and campfires, as accidental actions like failing to clean an OHV of debris or not stirring ashes could start a fire in dry conditions. On Monday, the OHV and fire ban in rural areas was lifted for the first time since “The Beast” was discovered 15km southwest of town.
Anyone with information or who was on the trails those days is encouraged to call RCMP at 1-844-620-9826, or Crime stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.