By Andrew O. De Guzman
THE Division of Fish and Wildlife has joined investigators from the police and the fire departments in looking into the possibility that poaching activities were connected with wild fires that have occurred recently, Variety learned.
In the afternoon of Feb. 7, smoke was seen on the eastern side of Mt. Tapochao.
Although the cause of the fire remains unconfirmed, investigators from the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services have not ruled out the possibility that they may be associated with illegal poaching, its public information officer Jocelyn Alvarez said.
Alvarez said the fire department, the local DFW, and the Department of Public Safety are working closely in the investigation.
A primary survey of the Saturday afternoon fire was conducted by fire investigators, but there was no sighting of active flames, Alvarez said.
Witnesses interviewed by fire fighters said they heard shots in the area, where the smoke was seen on Feb. 7, Alvarez said.
She said follow-up interviews indicated that shots were also heard at the same location on Feb. 8.
The fire on Feb. 7 is believed to be related to the fire on the southern side of Mt. Tapochao on Feb. 2, 2015, Alvarez said.
But DPS and the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services did not receive any medical calls related to this fire, Alvarez said.