Helicopter Crashes Near Slave Lake Wildfires

Helicopter reportedly crashes near Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada, where prime minister visited.

Helicopter Crashes Near Slave Lake WildfiresA helicopter responding to the fire situation in Slave Lake crashed on Friday near the town.

RCMP have confirmed that the male pilot of the helicopter, who was the only person on board at the time, died in the crash.

The name of the pilot has not been released pending notification of next of kin.

According to the province, the helicopter is a Bell 212 helicopter owned and operated by Campbell Helicopters out of Abbottsford B.C.

The helicopter crashed in shallow water approximately 30 meters off the shore of Slave Lake.

STARS Air Ambulance was dispatched to the area around 3:00 Friday afternoon, but the call was cancelled while the ambulance was en-route, as they were not medically required.

Canyon Creek is about 20 kilometres northwest of the town of Slave Lake in an area where forest fires are being fought.

Emergency crews reached the helicopter quickly, despite the fact that the crash occured in the water.

One third of Slave Lake was levelled during the weekend when a forest fire invaded the town of 7,000 and razed hundreds of homes and businesses. Thousands are still housed in emergency evacuation centres in several Alberta centres waiting to return.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach were touring the area by helicopter, but they were not involved in the crash.

Fire, RCMP and Emergency Medical Services who responded to the crash are now being treated for hypothermia.

Global National