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BC pilot dies fighting Northern Alberta fire

Last Updated May 23, 2015 at 10:12 am MDT

A plane similar to this one crashed east of Lac la Biche. www.airtractor.com

A small aircraft used for fire suppression has crashed about 100 kilometres east of Lac la Biche, Alberta, killing the 37-year-old BC pilot.

The plane went down around 4:30 Friday afternoon while engaged in “firefighting activities,” according to Jeff Berry of Conair Aerial Firefighting.

“It’s a single engine aircraft called a “Fire Boss” and unfortunately the pilot succumbed to his injuries,” Berry said.

This was the pilot’s fourth firefighting season with the company.

There’s no word yet on the cause of the crash, but Berry said a Conair accident investigation team is headed to the scene.

The Transportation Safety Board has also sent a team of investigators to the site.

Premier-elect Rachel Notley has offered her “deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of the pilot who lost his life protecting our province from a threatening wildfire.”

An Alberta Emergency Alert has been sent out for the same area where a pilot died.

The fire is affecting the cold lake weapons range and is nearing an Imperial Oil facility.

The fire has burned about 300 hectares

Those living in Lac La Biche County are being advised to take precautions.

(With files from the Canadian Press.)