(Advocate file photo).

Ponoka man to be charged with two counts of arson

The 60-year-old will appear in court next month

Ponoka RCMP are laying arson charges following a grass fire on May 2.

Ponoka RCMP responded to a report of a suspicious fire with the Ponoka County Fire Department 10:34 p.m.

An investigation by both the RCMP and the fire department concluded the grass fire was started by a person.

A suspect was identified and a 60-year-old Ponoka resident was arrested and will be charged with one count of arson.

Further information was obtained which linked this male to a suspicious fire reported on Oct. 12, 2017. This fire in October led to a garage being burned and was in close proximity to the May 2 fire. The male, who was not named by police, will also be charged with one count of arson in relation to the first fire.

“We’re very fortunate there was no one injured in either of these fires” says Sgt. Chris Smiley of the Ponoka RCMP Detachment.

“As we’ve seen in this province, at this time of year a grass fire can lead to a terrifying situation. We’re happy with the response of the Ponoka Fire Department, and the community assistance that helped us to solve this investigation.”

The accused has been released and is scheduled to appear in Ponoka provincial court on June 15.

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