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Campfire costly for trio

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Three Winnipeg men must pay $6,000 to cover a portion of the cost of suppressing a wildfire they caused.

That blaze, known as Kenora Fire 9, cost the Ministry of Natural Resources more than $38,000 to extinguish.

Ian McAulay, William Funk, and Adam Jones, all 21, pleaded guilty and were fined $100 each for not tending their campfire, and $2,000 each to help pay for a portion of the cost of putting the fire out.

Court was told that on April 23, 2006, the men were camping near Woodchuck Bay Road, about 30 km west of Kenora. The men couldn’t see their campfire from their tent because trees blocked the view.

The men called 9-1-1 when they became aware that a wildfire was burning near them.

Shortly afterwards, the ministry’s Aviation and Forest Fire Management dispatched a crew who put the fire out.

On April 24, MNR fire technicians investigated the fire. They determined that embers from the men’s campfire had blown downwind and started the wildfire.

Two days later, a Kenora District conservation officer interviewed the men and laid charges against them.

Justice of the Peace Joe Morrison heard the case March 20 in Kenora.

The ministry reminds the public that protecting our forest from unwanted fires requires caution and extreme care. If you start a fire, never leave it unattended and be sure it is completely extinguished before leaving.

The public may be required to pay the government the costs of putting out a fire which they have caused.

To report a natural resource violation, call toll-free 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) any time or contact your local MNR office during regular business hours.

You also can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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