Kelowna RCMP arrest 36-year-old suspect on arson charge after hillside fire

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      As wildfires have been ravaging B.C. and churches are being hit with fire and vandalism, there have also been some incidents involving suspected arson fires in Kelowna and North Vancouver.  

      According to B.C. RCMP, West Kelowna RCMP attended the 3000 block of Webber Road shortly after 8:30 p.m. on July 10 where residents had extinguished a fire on a hillside.

      Global News had reported on July 12 that witnesses had seen a man lighting a fire and identified his the suspect and his vehicle to police. He had been taken into custody but was released on conditions.

      This morning (July 22), police arrested 36-year-old Stephen Leader and took him into custody. He is attending B.C. provincial court this afternoon and will face one charge of arson.

      B.C. RCMP are not releasing any further information at this time.

      CTV News also reported that RCMP were investigating a wildfire on July 20 on a slope off Long Ridge Drive in Glenmore Highlands, which appeared to be “human-caused”.

      Earlier this week, North Vancouver RCMP announced on July 19 that a male suspect was arrested after a series of five fires arose across North Vancouver. No one was injured in these incidents.

      Investigators are seeking to speak with any witnesses, including the bystanders who helped to extinguish the first fire at a newspaper box on Lonsdale Avenue at 14th Street.


      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.