Second Canadian firefighter killed

Another firefighter has been killed during Canada’s worst wildfire season on record.

The firefighter from Fort Liard, a hamlet in the southwest corner of the Northwest Territories, died of an injury he sustained while fighting a fire in the Fort Liard district on Saturday. The reported that the Government of the Northwest Territories did not identify the firefighter, but confirmed that his family, the RCMP, and the Coroner Service were notified.

The Journal of Commerce reported that Fort Liard Mayor Genevieve McLeod said word began circulating in the community late Saturday afternoon that there had been an accident. At first, it was only thought that someone had been hurt, and there was no word who it was.

“A big part of the community went to the airport to meet the helicopter,” McLeod said in a phone interview. “They brought the individuals in from the forest fire they were fighting and that’s when everyone found out.”

McLeod, too, didn’t want to identify the firefighter who died, noting he had a large family and that some, who lived in the south, might not have yet heard the devastating news.

“He was a big part of our community — young and hard working. He has a young family,” she said.

“Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues and community,”  wrote fire information officer Jessica Davey-Quantick. “We share your deep sorrow at this loss, and we send our deepest condolences to all those affected by this tragedy, including wildfire personnel who are committed to protecting their communities and the residents of the NWT.” There are at least three wildfires burning near Fort Liard, about 37 kilometres (23 miles) north of the B.C. border.

On Sunday NWT Premier Caroline Cochrane said she was deeply saddened by the loss of life sustained while protecting the territory, and she thanked the man for his service. “This is a tragic loss for the entire territory, and I extend my heartfelt condolences to their family, friends and colleagues.”

As of yesterday, according to the, the danger level was considered “extreme” for fires in the Fort Liard area. Currently, there are 89 active fires burning across the Northwest Territories, including one new fire that started in the last 24 hours. More than 809,000 hectares are affected by the fires in that territory.

UPDATE 07/20/2023:  WILDLAND FIREFIGHTER Magazine reported that Firefighter Adam Yeadon, 25, from Fort Liard was a member of the Acho Dene Koe band.

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