A 22-year-old man has been charged in connection to a massive wildfire that reportedly grew to be the largest in Nova Scotia history.

“The Barrington Lake fire southwest of Shelburne, N.S., was ignited on May 26, 2023, and burned 23,000 hectares before it was brought under control on June 13 and extinguished more than a month later amid heavy rain,” National Post reports.

National Post reports:

The fire forced the evacuation of more than 6,000 people and destroyed 60 homes and cottages, as well as 150 other structures.

The province’s Natural Resources Department issued a statement Thursday saying Dalton Clark Stewart of Villagedale, N.S., was charged Wednesday with three offences under the Forests Act.

Stewart is accused of lighting a fire on privately owned land without permission of the owner; failing to take reasonable efforts to prevent the spread of a fire; and leaving a fire unattended. Violations under the act can result in a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to six months in jail.

Stewart is scheduled to appear in Shelburne provincial court on March 7.

If you remember, wildfires across Canada last summer were blamed on ‘climate change.’

Per CTV News:

The fire grew to 23,379 hectares, the largest recorded in the province’s history.

It forced more than 6,000 people from their homes and destroyed 60 houses and cottages, as well as 150 other structures.

It was the last in a string of spring wildfires in the province to be tamed.

The Natural Resources Department says it also continues to investigate the 2023 Tantallon-area wildfire, which burned 969 hectares.

‘’While the Department has gathered considerable information, there is a high bar for what can be used as evidence in court,” reads a Thursday news release from the province.

The fire burned in the suburbs north of Halifax between May 28 and June 4. It destroyed 151 homes, and at a peak, forced the evacuation of 16,000.

It was fully extinguished on July 26.

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Last month, the Nova Scotia RCMP said there was insufficient evidence to indicate the fire was the result of arson.

In related news, another man pleaded guilty to starting forest fires that ravaged Quebec last year.

CANADA: Man Pleads Guilty To Starting Forest Fires That Ravaged Quebec

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