July 10, 2014 10:31 am

UPDATE: RCMP weigh in on massive fire at Vernon race track

UPDATE 3:00 p.m.: RCMP are treating the fire as suspicious, but are cautioning that they need to investigate before they determine the cause.

This is the latest in a string of fires in the North Okanagan.

RCMP aren’t linking the grandstand fire with apparent arson’s in the region, but say if it is a serial arsonist, the fear is he/she is getting bolder.

“That is one of the fears that we have as an investigating agency, the fire department and the police,” says RCMP spokesperson, Gord Molendyk.

“Sometimes in the past individuals who are starting small fires escalate to bigger and bigger.”

Ed Woolley with the Okanagan Equestrian Society believes the fire was deliberately set.

“My gut feeling is that this was arson.”

The grandstand building was insured by the City of Vernon.

kin fire

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VERNON — Firefighters in Vernon are investigating the cause of a massive fire at the Kin Race Track.

Flames started shooting into the sky around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday and witnesses say seats around the track were fully engulfed.

Fire crews spent much of the night and early morning battling the blaze.

There is no word yet on whether the fire is suspicious but there have been reports of more than 20 suspicious fires in the area in the past two months.

The fire also started just hours after the Okanagan Equestrian Society scrapped plans to hold races at the track until  after electrical issues are fixed.

It’s just the latest development in an ongoing dispute between the society and local governments.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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