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RCMP investigating after $500,000 logging machine burns outside Lake Cowichan

Log-buncher rendered inoperable in blaze outside Dididaht village
This piece of forest equipment was heavily damaged in a fire on Nov. 11. (RCMP photo)

Lake Cowichan RCMP is investigating after a piece of logging equipment was heavily damaged in a fire in the Carmanah forested area on Nov. 11.

The operator of the machine advised their employer, and the RCMP, that the buncher had last been in full functioning service the night prior, and when the operator arrived on the morning of Nov. 11 at approximately 5:30 a.m., they discovered the machine had been rendered inoperable from a fire.

“The expertise of the Vancouver Island District General Investigation Section was called upon to help assist with this investigation,” said Cpl. Shannon Savinkoff from the Lake Cowichan RCMP.

“They conducted a thorough exam of the machine’s cab and the engine compartment to determine where and how this fire started. We are very fortunate that this occurred during a time of heavy rainfall, and no areas of the forest caught fire.”

The equipment was working near the First Nation community of Ditidaht in a remote area, approximately a two hour drive from the Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment.

“The machine was valued at approximately $500,000 and has been removed from the area,” Savinkoff added.

The investigation is still ongoing and anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact the Lake Cowichan RCMP at 250-749-6668.

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