A volunteer firefighter who was helping fight wildfires that spread to Saskatchewan has been identified as the man who died Wednesday in a single-vehicle rollover near Burstall, Sask.
James Hargrave, a 34-year-old firefighter, was working with Alberta's Cypress County Fire Department to battle blazes near Leader and Burstall, Sask. He was driving a large water-tanker truck that rolled over on a grid road about 10 kilometres south of Burstall.
"James was very community minded and joined the fire services to help and protect residents far and near," said a news release from Cypress County.
"He was a great father and will be dearly missed by his wife, children, extended family, friends, neighbours and fellow first responders."
The fatal crash happened "during the firefighting effort," said a Saskatchewan RCMP release.
The male driver, the only person in the truck, was found dead when Leader RCMP members reached the scene after midnight. It wasn't clear if fire or smoke were factors in the fatal accident, RCMP said.
"Saskatchewan RCMP acknowledges the risks taken and sacrifices made by our fellow first responders and extends its deepest condolences to the family, as well as friends and colleagues in the Cypress County Fire Department," the RCMP said.
2nd vehicle crashes into water truck
A second vehicle collided with the water-tanker, leaving the driver of the second vehicle with minor injuries.
Around the same time as the water-tanker crash, two men — private citizens from Saskatchewan who were also helping fight the fires — were found with serious injuries in the area of Gull Lake and Tompkins, one of several communities near the wildfires that began on Tuesday.
The men, aged 27 and 43, had been fighting a fire on their own land. They were ultimately taken to Calgary for treatment. The RCMP had no details about their current condition.