Saskatoon fire chief saddened after 19 firefighters die in Arizona
The deaths of 19 firefighters in Arizona have left fire crews in Saskatchewan saddened.
Saskatoon's Fire Chief, Dan Paulsen, said he can relate to the family and friends of those who died.
He said the tragedy serves as a reminder of the risk firefighters across the province put themselves in everyday.
"It is absolutely a devastating event," said Paulsen. "Whether it is for the family, friends or community. And it just goes to represent daily across North America what the fire service is doing. They put themself in front."
The 19 firefighters, who were part of a specially trained crew called hotshots, were trapped and killed after a sudden windstorm pushed an Arizona wildfire out-of-control.It was the greatest loss of firefighters in the United States in the past 80 years.
In Saskatoon, Paulsen said people are reminded of how dangerous wildfires can be.
"Don't forget, grassland fires can go at an incredible rate as well, and we've had some very near misses with our own staff with grass fires," he said.
"Any time we hear of injuries and fatalities, it's very heartfelt through the entire fire service."