Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cypress County Firefighter killed while combatting wildfire

Redcliff RCMP -  A Cypress County Firefighter was killed during the efforts to combat a wildfire north of Medicine Hat last night.

On October 17, a grassfire ignited in Cypress County near township road 180 approximately 5 miles west of Highway 41. The fire grew rapidly in size and moved quickly eastward due to high winds and dry fuels. Cypress County Fire Fighters and RCMP evacuated the communities of Hilda and Schuler due to the risk posed by the fire.

The fire moved east into Saskatchewan and Cypress County fire fighters assisted Saskatchewan fire fighters to fight the fire near the communities of Leader and Burstall. During the fire-fighting efforts, a collision occurred between water truck and pick-up truck. The lone occupant of the water truck, a 34-year-old male and volunteer fire fighter from Cypress County died at the scene.

This tragic loss of life speaks to the danger that this emergency posed and also to the heroism of the volunteers who sacrifice in service of their neighbors. The RCMP extends its deepest and most sincere condolences to the family of the deceased as well as his friends and colleagues in the Cypress County fire department.

Update as reported by CTV:  The deceased man has been identified as James Hargrave, a 34-year-old volunteer firefighter stationed out of Walsh, Alberta.

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