Cause of Point Pelee fire changed from ‘natural causes’ to ‘undetermined’

Leamington Fire Services initially said the fire at Point Pelee National Park was started by “natural causes,” but deputy chief Mike Bradt said new evidence caused the classification to change on Friday to “undetermined.”

“It was previously stated, at the time, that it could have been a natural cause, but with the information that has come forward we’ve decided to list the cause as ‘undetermined’ until investigation continues,” Bradt told the CBC. “All areas are being investigated at this time.”

Parks Canada has not disclosed what this new information is. Louis Lavoie, field unit superintendent for southwestern Ontario, said the organization doesn’t want to provide any information that could lead to speculation.

“At this time, we just don’t know for sure what is the root cause,” Lavoie said. “When we can pinpoint that cause we will certainly share that information.”

The OPP was on scene the night of the fire and may be helping with the investigation.

Thankfully, the marshland damaged in the fire should bounce back and be better off.

“Every few decades you’ll get a wildfire running through,” said Dan Lebedyk, an Essex Region Conservation Authority biologist. “We do see—very quickly—a regeneration of the marsh. In many cases, we see many more different plant species than we had originally.”