Cpl Matt Halstead, an RCMP media relations officer, is seen in June 2023. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
As Yellowknife evacuates in the face of an oncoming naturally caused wildfire, police in the city say they discovered an attempted arson overnight.
RCMP said a fire on Deh Cho Boulevard, a bypass road on the western periphery of Yellowknife nearest the oncoming fire, was reported at 4am on Friday.
With fire crews on the way, police officers “used fire extinguishers to contain the blaze until Yellowknife Fire was able to fully extinguish it,” RCMP stated in a Friday morning press release.
“An aerosol can was located on scene and the fire is believed to be an arson. The area was immediately contained and the police dog service was called in to assist. No one was located in the area and no arrests have been made.:
This is the latest of three alleged arsons in the city since Tuesday, a terrifying prospect for residents who are already fleeing the lightning-caused fire ZF015, which is 15 kilometres west and being blown east.
Deh Cho Boulevard is behind many of the lines of defence the city, territorial government and military have set up to defend against that fire.
“The area this fire occurred is somewhat remote and that means that the person responsible had to specifically travel to the location to deliberately set this fire,” said Cpl Matt Halstead, an RCMP spokesperson.
“This fire was set behind the fire defences and in an area where it could have spread significantly before it was detected. This is a serious criminal act and the RCMP will investigate this incident and other recent arsons, to the fullest.”