Investigation by the RCMP Forestry Crimes Unit in collaboration with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and the Smoky Lake County Emergency Services led the RCMP to determine that several fires had been started as a result of arson.
On May 4, 2018 a grass fire was started on Range Road 171 east of the Town of Smoky Lake. As a result of the above ongoing investigation, a suspect and suspect vehicle was identified. Alberta Sheriffs were utilized to assist in this investigation and on May 15, the suspect was observed lighting another fire.
On May 17, 42-year-old Daniel Kromm of the Smoky Lake area was arrested and charged with 23 counts of arson. The incidents included in these 23 charges date back to 2012. A judicial interim release hearing has been held and Kromm is remanded in custody. Kromm is scheduled to appear in Provincial Court of Alberta in Fort Saskatchewan on May 31, 2018.
“This investigation was a result of the working partnerships with several agencies; Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Alberta Sheriffs, Smoky Lake County Emergency Services, Edmonton Police Service, Smoky Lake RCMP and RCMP General Investigation Section” says Inspector Adrian Marsden of the RCMP Serious Crimes Branch. “If the Forestry Crimes Unit can be instrumental in preventing any future fires, and hold those who start fires accountable, then this initiative is a success.”
There is no indication that Kromm is associated to other fires that have occurred throughout the province. The Forestry Crimes Unit, formalized in January 2018, is an initiative where the RCMP and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry can work together to support wildfire investigations and other forestry related crimes in rural areas.