RCMP and government vehicles torched in ‘targeted attack’ in Smithers, B.C., police say

Four RCMP buses and several government vehicles, including an ambulance, were set on fire in a hotel parking lot in Smithers, British Columbia, early Wednesday in what police describe as a « targeted attack on vehicles of emergency service ».

RCMP Corporal. Madonna Saunderson said eight vehicles were damaged or destroyed by a fire outside the Sunshine Inn in the central British Columbia city, about 300 kilometers west of Prince George.

Photographs from the scene show a charred patrol car and pickup truck with RCMP markings.

One of those vehicles bears the inscription “C-IRG,” designating a task force that deals with “energy industry incidents,” according to an RCMP website.

The cruisers appeared to have their fuel tanks open.

A charred RCMP cruiser was one of several vehicles burned in the parking lot of a hotel in Smithers, British Columbia. (Contributor/Amanda Follett Hosgood)

A BC Hydro truck was also set on fire and the side of an ambulance was charred.

Saunderson said RCMP and firefighters responded to a report of multiple vehicle fires around 4:30 a.m. PT.

She said police were reviewing CCTV footage of surrounding businesses.

RCMP officers sent to patrol the Smithers area often stay at the Sunshine Inn.

smithers b c hotel parking lot fire
A witness photo of a fire in the parking lot of the Sunshine Inn in Smithers early Wednesday. (Submitted/RCMP)

Carl Chad, who has an auto shop near the hotel, told CBC News his security alarm went off at 4 a.m. and he saw « someone walking into our lot » on his security footage.

When he arrived at work at Four Lakes Automotive around 7:45 a.m. PT, he said the vehicle fires had been put out.

rcmp cruiser burned 2 smithers
An RCMP van was damaged by fire in the parking lot of the Sunshine Inn. (Contributor/Amanda Follett Hosgood)

Chad said he was worried and angry.

« If people are willing to set fire to RCMP vehicles directly [outside] where they sleep, then we wonder how safe we ​​are,” he said.


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