More than 445 people have been arrested at old-growth logging blockades on Vancouver Island

RCMP officers arrest a man during an anti-logging protest in Caycuse, B.C. on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne

Four more people were arrested Monday as the RCMP continue to enforce an injunction against old-growth logging blockades on southern Vancouver Island.

Police say those arrested were locked into various devices to prevent their removal from the roadway in the Fairy Creek watershed area.

Two people were arrested for breaching the injunction and two more were arrested for obstruction, according to the RCMP. All four were processed and released from custody in Port Renfrew, B.C.

Protesters have been camped out in the Fairy Creek area since last August to defend what they describe as the last unprotected old-growth forest on southern Vancouver Island.

Police say at least 10 people asked for help to leave the injunction area Monday. Officers transported them and their gear from the blockade sites, the Lake Cowichan RCMP said in a statement Tuesday.

“I continue to have concerns about the conditions, circumstances, and unsafe situations some are willing to place themselves in, especially given the heat and local fire danger ratings,” said Chief Supt. John Brewer in the statement.

“Those contemnors who continue to breach the injunction will be arrested and anyone wishing to leave the area will continue to receive support and assistance from the RCMP,” Brewer added.

Mounties have arrested 446 people at the old-growth blockades since enforcement began in May. At least 28 people have been arrested more than once, according to police.

The RCMP say 335 of the arrests were for breaching the injunction, 86 were for obstruction, 10 were for mischief, three were for breaching conditions of their release, four were for assaulting a police officer, one was for counselling to resist arrest and one person was wanted on Canada-wide warrants issued by Canada Border Services Agency.

The B.C. government approved the request of three Vancouver Island First Nations last month to defer logging of about 2,000 hectares of old-growth forest in the Fairy Creek and central Walbran areas for two years, but the protests are continuing.