KAMLOOPS, British Columbia — A man whose dropped cigarette started a devastating fire in British Columbia’s southern Interior in 2003 has been fined $2,570 U.S.
Provincial court Judge William Sundhu in Kamloops, imposed the fine on Mike Barre after finding him guilty earlier this month.
The judge says the fine is enough for the single father, and sends a message to the community about the importance of being more vigilant during dry summers.
Barre was charged with of dropping a burning substance within one kilometer of a forest after he tried to stomp out a cigarette near his home in Barriere, north of Kamloops.
The resulting fire grew to more than 100 square miles in size and destroyed 73 houses and a sawmill.
Despite the devastation, many area residents stood behind Barre. About 1,400 people recently signed a petition calling on the government to stay the charge against him. However, several civil lawsuits have also been filed.