Firefighter dies battling wildfires in southern Alberta

Oct 19 2017, 3:37 pm

A firefighter has lost his life in southern Alberta.

James Hargrave, a firefighter with the Walsh Fire Station in Cypress County, recently lost his life in performance of his duty, according to a release from Cypress County.

He was one of many working to protect the homes and lives of Albertans as four wildfires burned through southern Alberta since Tuesday.

“James was community minded and joined the fire services to help and protect residents far and near,” the release read.

“He was a great father and will be dearly missed by his wife, children, extended family, friends neighbours and fellow first responders.”

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Three of the four fires have been extinguished, according to a release from the Government of Alberta. The remaining fire continues to burn in Crowsnest Pass, covering a total of 106 hectares.

The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass State of Local Emergency remains in effect, though the State of Local Emergencies in Medicine Hat and Wheatland County have ended.

14 homes, one barn, and one garage have been destroyed so far from the fires, and the release says that numbers may change as total damage is still being assessed.

Four helicopters and 25 wildland firefighters are now deployed alongside local firefighters to handle the Crowsnest Pass fire.

Highway 3 has been reopened from Coleman to the border of BC.