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Police patrol for looters in evacuated areas south of Burns Lake

RCMP have brought in extra officers for the task
Extra RCMP officers are on the look out for looters south of Burns Lake. File photo

The RCMP has brought in extra 40 officers to the Burns Lake area to help prevent homes and property of wildfire evacuees from being looted.

“There is a team of personnel that has been brought in to manage the security of the wildfires while our detachment maintains our core policing mandate,” said Sgt. Shawn McLaughlin, the acting commander of the RCMP detachment in Burns Lake.

“Of course our main priority will be public safety but there will remain a measure of officer presence to prevent or discourage these types of crimes.”

Large areas south of Francois Lake, located south of Burns Lake and commonly called the Southside, are now under an evacuation order because of fast-moving wildfires which so far have consumed thousands of hectares of forested land.

B.C. Wildfire Service crews who have been in the area for days now are being helped by crews from outside the province and outside the country.

So far, McLaughlin said the RCMP has “zero confirmed reports of looting in the Burns Lake area thus far.”

He did add that “aggressive fires are hindering our ability to conduct full patrols but we do have check points set up with allows us to monitor who is coming and going from the Southside.”