Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has issued the following statement in response to the crash of an aircraft transporting BC Wildfire Service contractors in the Northwest Fire Centre:
“Shortly after 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2019, a Cessna 182 fixed-wing aircraft crashed about 95 kilometres northeast of Smithers. On board were four contractors who were conducting infrared scans of some of the 2018 wildfires, on behalf of the BC Wildfire Service.
“The crash site was located shortly before 11 a.m. Three of the four people on board did not survive, but one person was transported from the site by a Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre helicopter and is now being treated in a Vancouver hospital. That person is expected to recover.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of everyone involved in this incident. On behalf of all British Columbians, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the three people who did not survive.
“The Transportation Safety Board, the BC Coroners Service and the RCMP are investigating this incident to determine the circumstances that led to the crash. The BC Wildfire Service is providing all possible assistance to the investigators.”