Two years later, cause of Slave Lake fire still not known
EDMONTON- Two years after a wildfire destroyed a third of the town of Slave Lake, there are still no clear answers as to how the fire started.
“Based on our investigation, we have no formative evidence that would allow us to confirm that an arson had occurred, or that it hadn’t,” said Sgt. Chris Van Imschoot with Slave Lake RCMP.
In November 2011, the investigation was turned over to RCMP after Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (ASRD) said it had forensic evidence to show that the cause of the fire was arson.
A 12-member RCMP task force then followed up on upwards of 360 leads.
Based on the RCMP investigation, and the one conducted by ASRD, Van Imschoot says the cause of the blaze is still not known.
“The likelihood that this fire is man-made, for example, I can’t say specifically. However, the fire did start and it’s our role to try to determine how that happened,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “The goal is to get the truth and find out what happened, as best we can.”
Van Imschoot says the investigation remains open, and officers are currently following up on two new leads.
The fire caused over $700 million in damage.