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Bear spray causes burns at B.C. old-growth logging protest camp

Click to play video: 'B.C. unveils plans to defer logging of old-growth forests' B.C. unveils plans to defer logging of old-growth forests
The province's plan to defer logging 2.6 million hectares of old-growth forests isn't sitting well with B.C.'s forestry industry, which warns thousands of jobs will be lost – Nov 4, 2021

Mounties on southern Vancouver Island say a can of bear spray that overheated caused chemical burns to one person and breathing troubles for others who were aboard a bus near the Fairy Creek protest site.

Police say in a news release they heard a report that someone had chemical burns caused by a cooking stove, but members of the BC Ambulance service responded on Tuesday and determined the bear spray had exploded, leading five people, including children, to be treated at the scene.

Read more: Injunction against Fairy Creek old-growth protesters reimposed on interim basis

The bus also caught fire.

It was the same day three officers were hurt on a logging road between Lake Cowichan and Port Renfrew, when two RCMP vehicles were involved in a crash with a logging truck.

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The officers had been on their way to enforce a court injunction against blockades set up to protest old-growth logging.

Read more: BC RCMP’s acting commanding officer open to independent agency oversight after Fairy Creek protests

Mounties say they made eight arrests this week while enforcing the injunction, removing protesters from obstacles and devices they had locked themselves to, bringing the total number of arrests since last spring to 1,168.

A portion of the logging road that had been washed out by heavy rain was also repaired to allow vehicles through, a statement issued Friday from the RCMP says.

Mounties continue to look for a missing 61-year-old man who was last seen walking between two encampments in the Fairy Creek area on Oct. 13, it adds.

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