Five Niagara men fined over $8,000 for unextinguished campsite fire

Five men from Niagara Region have been fined more than $8,000, which includes wildfire firefighting costs, for a fire they didnt extinguish.

Kevin Visser, Kees Post, Chad Travers, Peter Schoon and David Stratton plead guilty to failing to extinguish a fire and ended up being fined $250 each totalling $1,250.

Then they were ordered to pay a total of $6,833.95 in restitution costs.

Court heard that on the 2016 May long weekend, the group were camping on the Mowat Forest Access Road in Mowat Township, Parry Sound.

On May 23rd, they started a fire to burn trash and then left their campsite shortly after.

Local citizens found the campsite ablaze and reported it to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) 310-FIRE hotline.

The fire burned 0.7 hectares and had to be extinguished by ministry fire fighters.

Justice of the Peace Cornelia Mews heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice in Parry Sound, on October 4th.

The ministry is reminding the public that all forest fires are investigated to determine cause. A person can be held responsible for the costs of extinguishing a forest fire, as well as for any property damage incurred and anyone who starts a fire has to keep it under control at all times and extinguish it properly before leaving the area.

If you see a forest fire, call the 310-FIRE hotline. If you have information about a forest fire, call the MNRF TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free any time or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).