On December 18th, 2021, officials at Kimberley Alpine Resort (KAR) found the Northstar Chairlifts in flames. This lift is the main access point to the Canadian ski resort, and as a result resort officials have had to try and come up with unique ways to get visitors up the mountain. This fire could not have come at a worse time for KAR, as they had just opened the mountain for winter operations. Because of the loss of an important asset and major inconvenience to visitors, the Royal Canadian Mountain Police began an ongoing investigation to determine the cause of the detrimental fire.
Sgt. Steve Woodcox had heard rumors of a power surge just before the fire began, which caused the initial suspicion that this fire could have been arson. Once the police thoroughly investigated the scene, it was concluded that the fire was deliberately set.
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Officials from KAR responded to the police’s verdict with the following statement:
“This will be a difficult and painful fact to comprehend and process for Kimberley Alpine Resort skiers and riders, for others in our community, for our resort team, and for skiers and riders throughout the ski industry . . . We appreciate the work that the RCMP and other agencies have been doing on this fire and we will continue to assist them in any way we can. If you have any tips that may help in this investigation please contact our local RCMP.” – Kimberly Alpine Resort
The unfortunate damage has made the lift irreparable, and the resort has been forced to close the lift for the duration of the season. As a resort that relies on the tourism that the ski season brings in annually, this fire will prove to be a tumultuous time for the resort. However, KAR has said in a statement that an act as horrific as arson will only unite the community at large as they work to repair what they can.