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Arson charges laid in connection to series of fires in the region

A 29-year-old man from Cherry Grove is facing a slew of arson charges in connection to a series of wildfires set last summer, as well as structure and vehicle fires in the Hamlet of Cherry Grove in April 2023.

The investigation into several wildfires in the Hilda Lake, Cold Lake Provincial Park, Ardmore, and Cherry Grove areas began in August 2022, during which the fires were deemed suspicious.

On September 9th, 2022, a blaze was reported at the Cherry Grove Rodeo Grounds, where a wooden platform appeared to have been deliberately set on fire. On April 28th, 2023, fires at a church and post office in Cherry Grove were reported, with the church being fully destroyed and the post office heavily damaged. Two days later, Mounties responded to several vehicle and structure fires, including two homes, within the Hamlet of Cherry Grove. All of the incidents were determined to be arson.

29-year-old John Cook of Cherry Grove was arrested on April 30th in relation to the fires, and subsequently charged with 10 counts of arson.

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Cook was remanded into custody and will next appear in a provincial court on May 10th.

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