BRITISH COLUMBIA

Police investigate suspicious fire at property where bears were fed dog food

08/28/2012 02:59 EDT | Updated 10/28/2012 05:12 EDT
CHRISTINA LAKE, B.C. - Mounties are investigating a suspicious fire at a Christina Lake, B.C., property where the owner once pleaded guilty to feeding bears that apparently guarded a marijuana plantation.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Jim Harrison of the Grand Forks detachment in southeastern B.C. says a water bomber and a helicopter were used to contain the blaze that spread to the surrounding forest and outbuildings on Tuesday night.

Property owner Allan Piche was fined $6,000 in May on two charges of feeding bears.

He was arrested in 2010 when police investigating a grow-op discovered tame black bears that watched passively as 1,100 marijuana plants were removed from the property.

Piche pleaded guilty to feeding the animals dog food but was charged a second time with the same offence.

His fine included restrictions barring him from feeding dangerous wildlife in B.C.