(Nanaimo RCMP)

An artificial turf playing field in Nanaimo will likely require replacement after being intentionally set on fire.

In the early hours of Tuesday, August 6th, vandals set fire to the artificial turf playing field located adjacent to Nanaimo and District Secondary School.

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Fire crews arrived on site at approximately 4:30 a.m. and extinguished a blaze in the middle of the field that measured around 15 ft. by 15 ft. in size.

Once the fire was put out, authorities were able to determine that it was caused by a mattress and metal frame, along with wooden pallets, being set on fire in the middle of the field.

“To drag a mattress and pallets on the field would take considerable time and effort. With that in mind, we hope that someone may have seen or heard something that will assist in the investigation,” said Cst. Gary O’Brien.

“This ridiculous act of vandalism will also significantly disrupt ongoing soccer leagues and upcoming football camps, which are expected to start up in the near future.”

According to preliminary estimates, the damages caused by the fire are in the range of $40,000 and the field will be out of commission for upwards of four weeks.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.