Residents in shock after apparent arsonist targets local farms
Residents in rural Alberta are on edge after an apparent arsonist has struck several times targeting hay bales on some local farms.
At least six fires have been set on two farms just off Highway 611, south of Pigeon Lake and RCMP are now searching for suspects.
"The nature of the fires has been deemed suspicious so it's an ongoing investigation that we're looking into," said Const. Scott Mercer with the Wetaskiwin RCMP detachment.
About 750 bales of hay have been destroyed on Gary Dreichel's farm, which has left him scrambling to feed his cattle for the winter.
"Five of the six fires were right in this area right here," said Dreichel. "What's next? They gonna start burning houses down?"
Dreichel says about $80,000 worth of his hay was destroyed. And while police are working to find a suspect or suspects involved, the farmer is helping in his own way with the investigation. He has set up several surveillance cameras on his property, in case it happens again.
"I hopes someone catches them before I do cause, I'll have them."
The farmer believes whoever is setting the fires knows the area. He claims his family is well-known in the community.
"We do a lot of volunteer work and stuff and we just don't have a clue."
The RCMP are asking anyone who may information on these apparent arsons to contact them by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
With files from CTV's Bill Fortier