Madeira Park: RCMP nab alleged firewood poacher

Sunshine Coast RCMP say they seized a pickup truck loaded with illegally cut firewood late last month in Madeira Park and one man has been fined under the Forests and Range Practices Act.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Poppy Hallam said police had a report May 30 of an unusual amount of truck traffic up and down Mason Road in Sechelt, in an area where there have been issues with firewood poaching in the Sunshine Coast Community Forest tenure area.

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RCMP contacted natural resource officers and the Community Forest to see if there were any active firewood permits for the area. Both confirmed that permits have been suspended because of increasing fire risk.

“We were confident that anybody who’s coming out of any Crown land or Community Forest land would be committing an offence under the Forests and Range Practices Act,” Hallam said.

RCMP officers caught up with the suspected firewood poacher in Maderia Park the following day after receiving information that the same person had been seen cutting wood in that area.

According to Hallam, police seized a pickup full of firewood and had it towed to an impound yard where the natural resource officers inspected the load and issued tickets for fines in the range of $175.

The truck itself was also written up as not roadworthy, and Hallam said the use of unsafe and even uninsured vehicles by firewood poachers is a concern for local RCMP.

She also said the detachment will continue to keep an eye out for illegal tree cutting on Crown land because of the high fire danger.

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