June 17, 2014 9:15 pm
Updated: June 18, 2014 4:51 pm

WATCH: Inside the mind of an arsonist


VERNON – There have been at least seventeen suspicious fires in the Vernon area since early May, the latest early Monday morning.

The charred aftermath of these fires is easy to see, but what remains unclear is who is setting these fires and why.

For a look at why some people set fires deliberately we turned to Michael Woodworth who teaches psychology at UBC Okanagan.

He separates offenders into two main groups: arsonists and pyromaniacs.

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Woodworth says arsonists, “are often going to be setting a fire either to conceal some sort of negative or nefarious activity or they are going to be setting it for some sort of criminal gain.”

In contrast pyromaniacs suffer from a mental disorder.

“For these types of individuals setting the fire in and of itself and everything about fires really is a point of fascination for them. One could almost call it a compulsion for them to be setting these fires,” said Woodworth.

The RCMP can’t say whether or not multiple fires were lit by the same person.

“It may be more than one person, we have no idea. It could be a group of individuals that are out setting fires,” said Gord Molendyk spokesperson for the Vernon RCMP.

For now the only link RCMP are making between the blazes is the time of night when they tend to start.

A half dozen officers are currently working to put a stop to the trail of fires.

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