Helicopter fighting wildfire crashes west of Edmonton

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Emergency responders were on scene at a helicopter crash Monday night near the community of Evansburg, Alta., west of Edmonton.

A view of the wildfire near Evansburg, Alta., last week. A helicopter assisting in the firefighting efforts crashed Monday night, police said. (David Bajer/CBC)

Emergency responders were on scene at a helicopter crash Monday night near the community of Evansburg, Alta., west of Edmonton.

RCMP told CBC News said it’s believed there was one person on board the helicopter and the status of that person is not known at this time.

A 175-hectare wildfire has been burning in the region since last week and is currently listed as being held, which is why the helicopter was in the area.

“The aircraft that has crashed is a helicopter that was engaged in the firefighting efforts in that area,” said RCMP Corp. Candace Hrdlicka.

In a statement Monday night, Justin Laurence, press secretary to Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen, confirmed that a contract helicopter had crashed fighting a wildfire near Evansburg, which is about 100 kilometres west of Edmonton.

“Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of everyone involved,” Laurence said. 

According to a news release, shortly after 6:30 p.m. Monday Evansburg RCMP received a 911 call reporting an aircraft crash in a remote area near Evansburg.

Evansburg RCMP, EMS, firefighters and Alberta Wildfire responded to the site, which is west of Highway 22 and north of Highway 16 in Yellowhead County. 

The location is not accessible by road. Hrdlicka said police accessed the site by aircraft. 

An investigation into the causes of the crash is ongoing, Laurence said.

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