Alberta government looking for witnesses, says arsonist started May Slave Lake wildfire

Alberta wildfires: All eyes on weather as lightning possible near Slave Lake
WATCH: (June 1, 2019) All eyes were on the weather as wildfires continued to burn in northern Alberta on Saturday. Lightning was possible in the Slave Lake region. Kent Morrison has the latest on the wildfire situation in that region.

The Alberta government says that an arsonist was behind a massive wildfire that burned over 273,000 hectares in the Slave Lake area in the summer of 2019.

The McMillan wildfire threatened several communities as it burned over about a month-and-a-half period , leading to the evacuation of Wabasca and Peerless Trout First Nation.

READ MORE: Peerless Lake First Nation under mandatory evacuation order as wildfire approaches

The wildfire began near the community of Wabasca in the afternoon of May 18, at around 2 p.m., and burned until it was brought under control by crews on July 1.

An investigation led by Alberta Wildfire and the RCMP Forestry Crimes Unit has confirmed wildfire was the result of arson.

Officials say they believe it originated on kilometre 40 of Highway 754, northeast of Slave Lake, and anyone who may have been in that area on the afternoon of May 18 should report what they saw.

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READ MORE: Alberta wildfires: All eyes on the weather as lightning becomes concern near Slave Lake

“To the families affected by this wildfire, who were evacuated, and to the forest industry, who suffered losses, we will find the person responsible for the McMillian wildfire,” said Devin Dreeshen, Alberta’s minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

Anyone with any details involving this incident, or any other wildfire incidents, can call the province’s toll-free tip line at 1-833-999-FIRE (3473).

A reward may be given for any information that could lead to an arrest.

Slave Lake residents put on evacuation alert because of wildfire
Slave Lake residents put on evacuation alert because of wildfire