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Attempted arson in woods near Fraser River Heritage Park in Mission

String of deliberate fires set in the area last summer
Mission firefighters stand in front of the scene at the south end of Hail Mary Trail, waiting on Mission RCMP to arrive. Patrick Penner / Mission Record

A deliberate fire was set this morning in the woods near Fraser River Heritage Park in Mission.

Mission Fire Rescue Service was called to the scene just after 11:30 a.m. on July 24.

The small fire was set at the south end of Hail Mary Trail, close to Jasper Avenue, above the ground of the former St. Mary’s Residential School.

A passerby had extinguished the flames by the time firefighters had arrived, according to emergency scanners.

Firefighters on scene confirmed it was an arson. Mission RCMP arrived just before noon to inspect the scene.

Ash and a tree blackened by smoke were visible at the scene, along with further spots in the brush beside the trail.

Last summer, a string of fires at Heritage Park and the adjacent trail systems were determined to be arson by Mission Fire Rescue Service in a report to city hall in November.

In just over three months (and amid a deadly heatwave) from July 4 to Sept. 7, a total of 11 fires were set.

Two of those fires were in the immediate vicinity of today’s fire. Other incidents included an attempted arson of the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, and a fire that spread to 0.8 acres and required a short-term evacuation of Tooley Place, and activation of an Emergency operation Centre.

These fires were all set in areas shielded from visibility, and lighters were found at several of the scenes, Mission RCMP said of the fires last summer.

Today has a “moderate” Fire Danger Rating from the province, with temperatures reaching 27 degrees.

RELATED: Arson suspected in a string of summer fires at Heritage Park in Mission


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Firefighters and police accessed the scene from Jasper Avenue, which was located a short distance away from where the fire was set. Patrick Penner / Mission Record