A Sault Ste. Marie man has been fined $500 for failing to extinguish a fire that spread to a nearby forest. Jeffrey Fleming pleaded guilty and was fined $500 for failing to extinguish a fire that spread to a nearby forest. He was also ordered to pay $2,200 to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to cover a portion of the costs associated with putting out the forest fire.
Court heard that on August 10, 2014, a ministry fire crew was dispatched to extinguish a forest fire located in Knicely Township, about 25 kilometres west of Wawa. Conservation officers investigated and determined that Fleming had been burning a brush pile and failed to properly extinguish the fire before departing the area. The fire spread into the adjacent forest and caused a 0.3 hectare forest fire requiring ministry fire suppression.
Justice of the Peace Diane Lafleur heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Wawa, on July 16, 2015.
The ministry reminds the public that all forest fires are investigated to determine their cause. A person can be held responsible for the costs of extinguishing a forest fire or for any property damage incurred. Anyone who starts a fire must keep it under control at all times and extinguish it properly before leaving the area.