Ontario firefighter dies while helping battle biggest wildfire in B.C. history

Ontario firefighter dies while helping battle biggest wildfire in B.C. history

A wildland firefighter from Ontario was fatally injured on Friday while helping battle the largest wildfire in B.C. history.

According to police, the 25-year-old was working in a remote area, north of Fort St. John, when the UTV he was riding on rolled over a steep drop on a gravel road.

“He was transported by helicopter to the Fort St. John airport,” said RCMP, “but sadly succumbed to his injuries while en route.”

Police said the events surrounding the man’s death are being investigated by several agencies, including WorkSafeBC and the BC Coroners Service. He was working for a private B.C. company.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of this young man, as well as to his fellow firefighters,” said the RCMP.

Click to play video: 'Minister Bowinn Ma provides B.C. wildfire and drought update'

Minister Bowinn Ma provides B.C. wildfire and drought update

B.C. Premier David Eby issued a statement on Saturday afternoon, saying the firefighter died while helping battle the Donnie Creek wildfire.

Story continues below advertisement

Burning in the Prince George Fire Centre, the Donnie Creek blaze is the largest wildfire in provincial history at a stunning 583,153 hectares — double the size of Metro Vancouver at an estimated 288,000 hectares.

“I am devastated to learn that we have lost another wildfire fighter. My heart goes out to the family, friends and colleagues of this front-line hero. On behalf of all British Columbians, we grieve this terrible news with you,” said Eby.

“This tragic news, coming so soon after the death of Devyn Gale, has shaken people throughout B.C. and is devastating for so many of those in the woods bravely fighting wildfires right now. Every worker expects and deserves to return home safely to family and friends.

“This wildfire season has been profoundly awful. We are so grateful to this firefighter and all of our firefighters for their daily heroism. This tragic news reminds us yet again of the extraordinary sacrifices they make to keep us safe.”

Click to play video: 'Hikers rescued by helicopter from raging blaze in Southeastern B.C.'

Hikers rescued by helicopter from raging blaze in Southeastern B.C.

B.C.’s Minister of Forests, Bruce Ralston, also provided a statement regarding the death.

Story continues below advertisement

“I have been informed that a firefighter assisting BC Wildfire Service crews passed away due to injuries sustained while working on the Donnie Creek wildfire,” he said.

“I am heartbroken that another firefighter was lost protecting our communities and our province during this devastating wildfire season. My deepest sympathies are with their family and friends, as well as their colleagues and the broader wildfire community — many of whom I know are still coping with the tragic loss of a colleague earlier this month.

“We will continue to support our teams through this difficult time. I extend my gratitude to every wildfire crew member in B.C. for continuing to show up and protect us during these times of tremendous loss.”

BC Wildfire says its top priority is the privacy of the individual’s family and more information should be available in the coming days.

Motorcycle accident toronto today has reached out to police, BC Emergency Health Services, and the Ambulance Paramedics of BC for information.

Click to play video: 'Memorial held in Revelstoke for fallen wildland firefighter, Devyn Gale'

Memorial held in Revelstoke for fallen wildland firefighter, Devyn Gale

It is the second death this fire season in B.C.

Story continues below advertisement

Devyn Gale, 19, was killed on July 13 when she was struck by a falling tree in a remote area near Hiren Creek, just north of Revelstoke.

A procession was held in Revelstoke for her death on July 22, where hundreds lined the street to pay respects to the fallen firefighter.

Two days after Gale was killed, another firefighter was killed in the Northwest Territories while battling a wildfire on July 15. Adam Yeadon, 25, was killed by a falling tree.

Yeadon — from Fort Liard, a hamlet in the southwest corner of the Northwest Territories — was battling a wildfire in the Fort Liard district. He leaves behind a two-year-old daughter.

Click to play video: 'Alberta wildfire helicopter pilot Ryan Gould remembered by wife as hero'

Alberta wildfire helicopter pilot Ryan Gould remembered by wife as hero

And in northern Alberta, helicopter pilot Ryan Gould, 41, was killed when his helicopter crashed while assisting in wildfire efforts on July 19.

Story continues below advertisement

The Bell 205A helicopter, operated by Valhalla Helicopters, went down in a marshy area northeast of Peace River.

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

Speaking to Motorcycle accident toronto today, Ryan’s wife, Carlyn Gould, said her husband’s first love was flying.

“He had been doing this for over 20 years. He was very experienced in wildfires,” she said.

Carlyn described Ryan as her rock — a “real-life hero.”

“I call him a hero because in the 20 years of flying fires across Canada, in the U.S., and in Australia, he has kept many crews safe from being taken out in fires. He has saved people’s homes and their livelihoods. He has taken care of the people, and not just fought the fires.”

She added “he was very convicted and hard-working. He wore his heart on his sleeve. He was our protector. He loved our kids, me, his family, his community. He loved his work. It was more than just a job; it was a second family.”

Gould leaves behind his wife and two sons.

Click to play video: 'Firefighter dead in Northwest Territories, 2nd killed in Canada this wildfire season'

Firefighter dead in Northwest Territories, 2nd killed in Canada this wildfire season

— With files from Amy Judd, Emily Mertz, Elizabeth McSheffrey

&copy 2023 Motorcycle accident toronto today, Toronto Car Accident News.