Police in northern Alberta are seeking the public’s help in identifying several arson suspects.
Police officers in Grande Prairie, Alberta have arrested one suspect, and are looking for several others in connection to an arson investigation, as reported by local media.
Grande Prairie RCMP officers have relayed to the media that they believe fires in the city were “intentionally set,” having arrested one person in connection with the blazes.
Witnesses report that fires are being intentionally set and videos of purported arson are being circulated on social media.
“I’m sure [one of the fires] was arson because the wooded area [behind the hotel] had a lot of greenery and there’s no other explanation as to why a fire would start,” reported Alberta resident Marcus Smeltzer.
Smeltzer is one of several Alberta residents that have connected some of the recent fires in the province to arsonists.
While some have speculated that all the ongoing fires in Alberta were intentionally set to disrupt the voting process, or for other political purposes, there is no evidence at this time to support this claim.
The evidence suggests that only some of the wildfires have been intentionally set by criminals, which may or may not have a political agenda.
Weather conditions are a contributing factor in the ongoing Alberta wildfires, according to fact-checkers at the AFP.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misspelled Grande Prairie. The article was updated to remove the error. Read more about our editorial standards.
UPDATE: The article was updated on Jun. 9, 2023 to clarify that only some of the recent fires in Alberta have been connected to arson. A video of one of the alleged arson attacks has been removed from Twitter, and the embedded tweet has been removed from the article. The premier of Alberta is hiring outside investigators to look into claims of arson.
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