by Dave Preston
Officials have determined the cause of Vernon’s Tronson Road Fire and are ruling it accidental.
At its peak, the fire forced residents of two homes to evacuate as scores of firefighters, assisted by helicopters and air tankers, battled the blaze.
The fire was started by a youth who found a lighter and tested it, igniting tinder dry grass in the area.
A total of 36 hectares of grassland was scorched Tuesday afternoon and evening in the Bella Vista area of Vernon.
RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk told media that the young offender, who cannot be identified, has cooperated with investigators from the RCMP, Vernon Fire Rescue and the BC Forest Service.
Investigators are recommending the case be forwarded to the Restorative Justice Program, where the young person’s actions will be held accountable.
The program brings together offenders, victims and other agencies to settle issues outside of court.
The gender of the youth is not known.