Ontario man dies battling wildfire in B.C.

Ontario man dies battling wildfire in B.C.

Another firefighter has died battling wildfires in British Columbia, the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) confirmed Saturday.

The firefighter was an Ontario man who had been contracted by a private B.C. company to help the BCWS and its firefighting efforts, according to the Fort St. John RCMP.

Police were told that the 25-year-old was riding a utility task vehicle (UTV) on Friday in a remote area approximately 150 kilometres north of Fort St. John when his vehicle rolled down a steep drop onto a gravel road.

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

The BC Wildfire Service confirmed the death with CHEK News on Saturday.

Fire information officer Jean Strong says the service’s main concern is respecting the firefighter’s privacy.

RCMP, WorkSafeBC, the BC Coroners Service and the BC Wildfire Service are all investigating the man’s death.

On Saturday, both B.C. Premier David Eby and Forestry Minister Bruce Ralston expressed condolences to the firefighter and his family.

“I am devastated to learn that we have lost another wildfire fighter,” said Eby in a statement, adding that the fire was located near Donnie Creek.

“My heart goes out to the family, friends and colleagues of this front-line hero,” he said. “On behalf of all British Columbians, we grieve this terrible news with you.”

The death comes just weeks after 19-year-old wildfire firefighter Devyn Gale died while battling a fire near Revelstoke, B.C.

Two days after Gale died, a wildfire firefighter in Northwest Territories was also killed on the job.

“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,” said Eby.

“This wildfire season has been profoundly awful. We are so grateful to this firefighter and all of our firefighters for their daily heroism,” he said.

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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