Arson charge laid after Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park fire

On Friday, the RCMP received a report of a fire in the park near Cosens Bay.

Authorities are adamant that a fire in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park was intentionally started.

A blaze broke out near Cosens Bay Friday before 9:30 p.m.

“With the certain things witnesses saw, it leads us to believe it was something other than a campfire,” said Gord Molendyk, RCMP spokesperson.

A suspect was taken into custody after the individual was detained by Coldstream firefighters who responded to the fire.

At one point, it was reported the flames were about 20 feet high and covered an area of 20 feet by 60 feet.

“Upon arrival, we found an area in a steep portion of the park with four to five citizens actioning the fire from the lake side. Without their quick action it would have been a different outcome,” said Dave Sturgeon, Coldstream fire chief .

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude for their help in the efforts as our biggest challenge was gaining access to the site.”

B.C. Forestry firefighters also responded to the scene.

The incident is not believed to be connected to other suspicious fires in Greater Vernon in the past year.

Justin Rees, 24, appeared in court Monday on a charge of arson. His case has been put over until June 24 to consult with counsel.