Mounties are saying the RCMP Forestry Crimes Unit has laid arson charges against an area woman following an in-depth investigation into a series of suspicious wildfires in the Bonnyville and Lac La Biche areas.

Police say on April 24th they and other emergency crews responded to multiple wildfires located northwest of Bonnyville and east of Lac La Biche within the Forest Protection Area. The RCMP says their investigation determined they were started on purpose.

Meanwhile on May 27th more wildfires took place near Highway 55 and Highway 881.

Mounties say they have arrested 54-year-old Audrey Elaine Dunham of Glendon in connection to the fires. Dunham now faces 32 different counts of arson.

“Public Safety is a shared responsibility and by working together, the Forestry Crimes Unit and their partners can be instrumental in preventing wildfires and promoting public safety. This investigation is the result of a partnership between; Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority, Forestry Crimes Unit and Bonnyville RCMP,” says Inspector Pamela Robinson of the RCMP Serious Crimes Branch.  “If the Forestry Crimes Unit can be instrumental in preventing wildfires, and hold those who start the fires accountable, then this investigation is a success.”

The RCMP says Dunham has since been released from police custody with various conditions and will be due to make an appearance in Bonnyville court on August 17th.