With files from Chris Adams, MyCaribooNow.com

A 51-year-old man was arrested Thursday evening after two fires were extinguished by the joint efforts of RCMP, firefighters, and several tree planters.

100 Mile RCMP responded with 100 Mile Fire and Rescue to a report of a campfire and suspicious male in the ditch along Highway 97 near 93 Mile Loop Road and Campbell Road at 8:19 pm.

“Members located a small campfire which was put out immediately with the assistance of 100 Mile Fire and Rescue,” S/Sgt. Svend Nielsen said in a news release.

“Several witnesses reported seeing an adult male acting strangely in that area and a description was provided.”

Patrols to locate the man continued and a short time thereafter, a larger fire starting further down from the original campfire location was observed.

“This fire was much larger and appeared to be 6 meters square and growing fast,” Neilsen said.

“The officer observed growth of the fire into the upper trees, beginning to candle across the treetops. The officer immediately advised the other members on duty and quickly attempted to put the fire out by hand using available equipment. Several tree planters near the location came and immediately began to help.”

100 Mile Fire and Rescue re-attended and the fire was quickly put out.

The intoxicated male from the original call was located across the roadway from the larger fire hiding in the bushes.

He was found to be breaching previous court-ordered conditions and currently remains in custody.

“It is quite obvious that without the quick response of the attending officer, Cst. Scott Anderson, the tree planters and 100 Mile Fire and Rescue, this event could have been a lot worse,” Neilsen said.

“100 Mile House RCMP is very thankful to all of our first responders and community members (permanent or not) who assisted with this event.”