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Tree-faller dies fighting Sechelt forest fire

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DH Vancouver Staff Jul 06, 2015 10:25 am

The death of a tree-faller battling the Sechelt forest fire is a tragic reminder to thank those individuals who are braving the flames on the ground to keep our communities safe.

While heavy smoke plumes blanket Metro Vancouver, one man has died while working to contain the forest fire near the Sechelt mine site. RCMP confirm the 61-year-old man from Gibsons was killed on the job on Sunday, July 5 while assisting with fire fighting efforts on the now 80 hectare size fire burning 2 km north of Sechelt.

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“This is a tragic example of how truly dangerous it is for those battling these wildfires, and should serve as a reminder of just how important it is for us all to do our best to prevent these fires from starting in the first place,” said Constable Harrison Mohr with Sunshine Coast RCMP.  “We are fortunate to have such brave men and women working to protect our homes and communities.”

According to the B.C. Wildfire Service, the fire is currently only 40 per cent contained and is suspected to be caused by human activity.

“This fire is burning in steep ground about 1.8 kilometers from Sechelt Inlet, on the western side of the inlet. The fire has produced a high volume of danger trees in the area by burning tree roots and damaging tree limbs. The public have reported that they can hear these trees falling periodically, and the public is cautioned to stay out of the area to allow crews to work safely,” says the Wildfire Service.

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As of Monday, there are 57 firefighters on the scene and three helicopters. The Sunshine Coast Regional District has issued an evacuation for 18 seasonal homes near the area.

There are currently over 100 wildfires in B.C. larger than 25 acres in size, which is roughly equivalent to the area of Vancouver’s PlayLand amusement park. The 80 hectare Sechelt fire is just under one-quarter of the size of Stanley Park.

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DH Vancouver Staff
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