Canadian firefighter killed as country battles 'profoundly awful' wildfires

The Donnie Creak blaze has spread over 2,000 miles. Credit: AP

A firefighter has been killed while fighting a massive wildfire in Canada.

He had been battling a fire in northeastern British Columbia, marking the second such fatality in the Canadian province this month and the fourth in Canada during this year’s record fire season.

A release from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Saturday the 25-year-old man from Ontario was working on Friday when his heavy-duty ATV rolled over a steep drop on a gravel road just before 11 o'clock in the morning.

Police say the victim, who has not been identified publicly, was transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital but died en route.

The RCMP say a workplace fatality investigation is underway.

Provincial officials have confirmed the man was a contracted firefighter working for the wildfire service and died while fighting the almost 2,316 square mile Donnie Creek blaze.

British Columbia's Premier, David Eby, issued a statement on Saturday saying the fatality coming so soon after Gale’s death “has shaken people throughout” the province and devastated the firefighting community.

"This wildfire season has been profoundly awful," he said.

This has been one of Canada's worst years for wildfires on record. Credit: AP

Statistics from the provincial wildfire service show there are currently 363 active wildfires in British Columbia, with 11 new fires in the last 24 hours and 191 blazes classified as out of control.

In total, there have been 1,517 wildfires in British Columbia this year, burning a record-breaking 5,944 square miles of trees, bush and grassland.

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