The downtown may see fewer cases of arson that have been plaguing the city over the last year thanks to a vigilant RCMP beat officer.
Two locals face charges of arson in court Thursday after an officer on foot patrol approached them Wednesday night.
At 11:30 p.m. an officer was checking the alley in the 400 block of Victoria Street when she came upon two men standing beside a City of Kamloops garbage bin.
While speaking to them, smoke began climbing up from inside the container. It erupted into flames and the two suspects, aged 18 and 19, were "caught red-handed," said Const. Bernie Ward.
They were arrested and held to appear in Kamloops courts on a charge of arson to property.
Police are investigating 18 suspicious fires in Kamloops since the start of the year and 68 since last June.
In mid-April, a youth was arrested for a fire on Clearwater Avenue that drove a man and his children from their home and killed their dog.
The arrests aren't expected to quell arsons altogether, and residents are asked to remain vigilant.
"This is an going investigation and the police request the public to call if they see suspicious people around their property or in the area," said Ward.
"They can also check their property for items that could be used to start a fire, and to lock outbuildings and sheds."
© Kamloops Daily News