Firefighter dies responding to 583,153-hectare Donnie Creek wildfire

A picture of a wildfire and dark smoke coming out of a green forest.
The Donnie Creek wildfire. (BCWS)

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A B.C. wildfire fighter died after rolling over a side-by-side on Friday while responding to the Donnie Creek wildfire.

Fort St. John RCMP was notified of the “workplace fatality involving a wildland firefighter contracted to the BC Wildfire Service” just before 11 a.m. on July 28th.

The firefighter was riding a UTV in a remote area approximately 150 kilometres north of Fort St. John when it rolled over a steep drop onto a gravel road.

The individual succumbed to his injuries while being transported to the Fort St. John airport by helicopter, according to police.

The wildland firefighter was from Ontario and contracted by a private BC company. He was working on the 583,153-hectare Donnie Creek wildfire, the largest in the province’s history.

Premier David Eby put out a statement about the death on Saturday, sending out his sympathies to the man’s family.

“I am heartbroken that another firefighter was lost protecting our communities and our province during this devastating wildfire season,” said Eby in the statement.

“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.”

The events surrounding his death are being actively investigated by the RCMP, BC Coroners Service, WorkSafeBC and the BC Wildfire Service.

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

There have now been two firefighter deaths during the 2023 wildfire season in B.C., following the death of Devyn Gale on July 13th.


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