A helicopter pilot who died while battling a wildfire in Alberta has now been identified.
Heath Coleman, 48, was a helicopter pilot and a base manager in Blue River for Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing, according to a post on the ski company’s Facebook page.
The helicopter crash occurred at a wildfire west of Edmonton early last week.
“As a first responder in fighting wildfires, Heath lost his life in the line of duty while protecting people and property. We honour his service to others as the highest calling,” the social media post said.
According to Wiegele, Coleman, a Prince George resident, had worked at their company for over 20 years.
“Heath loved to fly and was one of the most experienced pilots in the industry,” the post said.
“He was a respected, trusted and highly valued member of our team and we are filled with sadness as we mourn the loss of someone we have known so well for so long and hold very dear to our hearts.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support Coleman’s family.
According to the fundraising page, organized by Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing, Coleman leaves behind a wife and two young adult sons.