Quebec man who blamed wildfires on government pleads guilty to setting 14 fires

A Quebec man who posted conspiracy theories online that forest fires were being deliberately set by the government has pleaded guilty to starting a series of fires himself that forced hundreds of people from their homes.

Brian Paré, 38, pleaded guilty Monday to 13 counts of arson and one count of arson with disregard for human life at the courthouse in Chibougamau, Que.

Prosecutor Marie-Philippe Charron told the court that two of the 14 fires set by Paré forced the evacuation of around 500 homes in Chapais, Que., a small community located around 425 kilometres northwest of Quebec City.

“On May 31 at 8:30 p.m., the town of Chapais issued a mandatory evacuation order due to the raging fires, in particular the fire at Lake Cavan as well as the airport fire, two fires that are included in the charges and were cause by the accused,” Charron said, as she presented an agreed statement of facts.

Read more: CBC News