Evacuation orders have been lifted and now crews can fully piece together the full effects of wildfires near Burstall, Tompkins and Leader that spread quickly Tuesday.
In a media conference Wednesday morning RCMP said they are investigating a fatality resulting from a single vehicle accident ten kilometers south of Burstall that occurred around midnight.
It’s now been confirmed the victim of the accident was 34-year-old James Hargrave, a volunteer firefighter from Walsh, Alberta.
Police said Hargrave was alone in the water truck and died at the scene. The driver of the pickup truck was not badly hurt.
It wasn’t known if fire or smoke in the area were factors in the accident.
“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 neighbours,” Cpl. Curtis Peters said in a release.
“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.”
RCMP also said two men, ages 43 and 27 who were fighting the fire on their own land near Gull Lake and Tompkins were taken to hospital in Alberta with serious injuries.
Their current condition is unknown at this time.
It was also confirmed that three structures and four farms were damaged because of the fire, however the severity of the damage is still be assessed.
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On Wednesday evening, Alberta provincial officials updated the number of homes lost to 14 —two in Stobart, four in Gleichen, one in Rockyview County, five in Acadia Valley and two on the Siksika First Nation.
They said, however, that could go up as further assessments are done.
All but one of the evacuations ordered during the height of the fires had been lifted by Wednesday.
In Saskatchewan, residents of Leader and Burstall were allowed to return home and the fire near Tompkins was under control, although a farmhouse and barn were lost. There was also a loss of some livestock near Richmound.
However, thousands of Saskatchewan residents were without electricity.