Trent Ernst, editor
Randy Cutler says a great day of quadding turned to ash when he and a group of people out quadding stopped by to check their shelter at Quality Lake, a converted school bus, and discovered it had been torched. “We pulled in, and could see the bus tires still burning. The windows were busted; totally burned inside. I was so hurt and disappointed that some individuals can ruin it for everyone.”
Cutler says the bus had only been there for three weeks. “There wasn’t even a wood stove in it yet,” he says. “Whoever burned it, they shot the tires out and then set them on fire.”
From there, a secondary fire may have been set inside the bus, or possibly the tire fire made it inside. Either way, the bus was destroyed. “Thanks to the person or persons that did this,” he says, “something that a lot of people would have enjoyed has been destroyed. Not just used by snowmobilers but quadders, fishermen, hikers, whoever.”
The bus had only been in the new location for about three weeks. Cutler says it was very disheartening to see. “I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never seen anything like that here around Tumbler. The wife was ready to quit the club.”
Richard Cronier is the president of the Dawson Creek club. He says that clubs across the province face these sort of things constantly. “It really does take the wind out of the members. “This is a big loss for the club who work so hard to build and provide assets the entire community gets to enjoy on the hard work of a few members. I hope the cowards are caught and prosecuted.”
The shelter has now been removed and brought to the dump. “A lot of work went into this project, but that has now been put on hold,” says Cutler.
Plans are underway to replace the bus, and many locals have offered to assist in any way they can, but Cutler says whatever happens won’t happen this year. “We just have too much to do before winter. We have to get wood to the other shelters and that sort of thing.”
The snowmobile association and the local RCMP are looking for any information on the person or persons that were responsible for burning the bus. Cutler asks that anyone who saw anything on Saturday or Saturday night, please contact the RCMP or Crime Stoppers.