RCMP charge Alberta woman with 32 counts of arson after spring wildfires

A file photo of an RCMP cruiser. File / Global News

A 54-year-old woman from Glendon, Alta., has been charged in connection with a series of wildfires in central and northern Alberta this spring.

In a news release issued Friday, the RCMP said Audrey Elaine Dunham has been charged with 32 counts of arson following an “in-depth investigation into a series of suspicious wildfires in the Bonnyville and Lac La Biche areas.”

On the night of April 24, officers from the Bonnyville RCMP detachment, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority were called to several wildfires northwest of Bonnyville and east of Lac La Biche. An investigation determined the fires had been deliberately set and police identified a suspect.

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A month later, on May 27, seven wildfires were reported near Highway 55 and Highway 881 in the M.D. of Bonnyville. Police said a total of 19 wildfires had been started in the area over the course of a few hours.

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“This investigation is the result of a partnership between Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority, (the RCMP) Forestry Crimes Unit and Bonnyville RCMP,” said Insp. Pamela Robinson of the RCMP Serious Crimes Branch.

“If the Forestry Crimes Unit can be instrumental in preventing wildfires and hold those who start the fires accountable, then this investigation is a success.”

READ MORE: Wildfire in Lac La Biche County now 90% contained 

Dunham has been released but must abide by a number of conditions. She is scheduled to appear in Bonnyville Provincial Court on Aug. 17.

Watch below: Some Global News videos about wildfires.

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