Firefighters threatened with gun

Williams Lake RCMP have arrested one man in the incident

A man was cuffed and had his weapons seized after threatening firemen working to save Williams Lake.

According to RCMP, police received a report from a firefighter that he had been threatened by a local resident just after 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

“In speaking with this fireman, RCMP learned that while working in an area of Springfield Road the day prior (July 17) a local resident had allegedly threatened to kill firefighters if they continued to conduct back burning in the area,” said Cpl. Janelle Shoihet.

“With this male, was a group of other males, one of whom was alleged to have been carrying a handgun on his hip.”

Williams Lake RCMP then worked with BC Wildfire Service deployment teams to conduct an investigative follow up. Teams were able to identify and locate the 44-year-old man, who is alleged to have threatened the fireman.

“In speaking with RCMP he acknowledged the statements were made in a time of extreme stress. At this time, charges against this male are not being considered, however to mitigate the possible risk, his firearm has been temporarily seized,” added Shoihet.

The 57-year-old man, who was alleged to have been wearing the handgun, was also located and arrested. Police say he was found to be in possession of a loaded, unsecured handgun, as well as six rifles in his vehicle.

His firearms have been seized and he has since been released, with a court appearance scheduled in early November.

“We understand that tensions are running high, but we have to continue to pull together as a community to fight the fires in whatever way we can,” said Inspector Jeff Pelley, Officer in Charge of the Williams Lake RCMP.

“The firemen and women have a job to do, as do we, we ask that continue to be patient as we work together with all of our partners to make your community a safe place to return to.”

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