The family of firefighter Zak Muise, who died last month fighting the Donnie Creek wildfire in B.C.’s northeast, says an outpouring of support has meant a lot to his family ahead of a memorial service to honour him today.
Muise’s sister, Allison Tackaberry, says Muise’s death devastated his family, calling it a sudden and tragic loss.
The memorial service and a procession are being held today in Penticton, B.C., home base of the firefighting contractor that Muise worked for.
RCMP say Muise, 25, from Waterford, Ont., died on July 28 when his heavy-duty ATV rolled over a steep drop on a gravel road in a remote area about 150 kilometres north of Fort St. John.
The city of Penticton says the procession and memorial will take place at Skaha Lake Park and will involve the RCMP, Penticton Fire Department and Muise’s colleagues from Big Cat Wildfire.
Muise was the fourth firefighter to die on duty in Canada this summer fighting wildfires.
Last month, 19-year-old Devyn Gale died fighting a wildfire near her home at Revelstoke, B.C.; Adam Yeadon, 25, died fighting a wildfire near his Fort Liard, N.W.T., home; and Alberta resident Ryan Gould, 41, died near Haig Lake 140 kilometres northeast of Peace River, Alta., when his helicopter crashed while fighting another fire.
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B.C. Premier David Eby said in a statement following Muise’s death: “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.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2023.