Salmon Arm firefighters were called to several garbage container fires set downtown about 7 p.m. Thursday, May 20, 2021. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm firefighters were called to several garbage container fires set downtown about 7 p.m. Thursday, May 20, 2021. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm fire chief takes succession of fires in garbage containers downtown seriously

Although fires were quickly extinguished, concern is they could ignite nearby structures

Fire Chief Brad Shirley described a string of fires set in garbage containers in downtown Salmon Arm Thursday night as “very disturbing.”

Beginning shortly before 7 p.m. May 20, the fire department was dispatched first to a couple of fires by Boston Pizza, then a couple in the area of the downtown SASCU and then one at Ross Street and Hudson by the Pharmasave.

They were all in close proximity in terms of location and timing.

“We just finished up at one and got another call…” he said.

RCMP officers also responded to search for the culprit or culprits.

Shirley said there didn’t seem to be any particular reason why the fires were lit.

“Our fear is that they light one that’s close to a building and no one is going to notice it and it starts a structure fire. It’s definitely concerning to us.”

He said while the fire department has previously seen a few fires around town that appeared to be left behind by people living rough, those ones seemed to be accidental, while the ones on May 20 were deliberately set.

Shirley encouraged anyone who sees an individual lighting a fire or acting suspiciously to call 911.

Read more: Fires in camps where people in Salmon Arm living rough spark concerns

Read more: Several suspicious dumpster fires prompt Kelowna Fire Department, RCMP investigation
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