Three B.C. Wildfire Service contractors dead after plane crash near Smithers

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      Three people have died in a plane crash north of Smithers.

      The accident occurred on Saturday (May 4) and involved a Cessna 182 fixed-wing aircraft. The plane was carrying a pilot plus three B.C. Wildfire Service contractors who were on their way to the province’s Northwest Fire Centre.

      "Our thoughts are with the family and friends of everyone involved in this incident,” Doug Donaldson, B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, said quoted in a media release. “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.”

      It’s stated there that the team was dispatched to conduct infrared scans of areas affected by 2018 wildfires.

      "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,” the release continues. “That person is expected to recover.”

      CBC News says it has identified two of the individuals who did not survive the crash.

      The first is Amir Ilya Sedghi, an employee of Precision Vector. The second is Lorne Borgal, who CBC describes as another employee of Precision Vector and a former CEO of Hudson Bay Mountain Resort.

      The ministry’s release states that the cause and circumstances of the crash remain under investigation.

      B.C.’s 2018 wildfire season was one of the very worst on record.

      During the fiscal year, B.C. experienced 2,117 wildfires that collectively burned 1.4 million hectares.

      That makes 2018 one of only two years in the last 10 when B.C. saw more than one million hectares lost to wildfires. The other was 2017.

      A July 2017 release from the provincial government notes that year's fires—which were recorded as "the worst in generations"—were due, "in large part," to climate change.

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