The RCMP has released more details into the incident involving the death of a BC Wildfire Service firefighter near Revelstoke on July 13, as condolences pour in from all over the country.
Police were notified of the fatality at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Thursday (July 13).
Devyn Gale, 19, was working with the BC Wildfire Service alongside a team, clearing brush within a remote area where a small fire had started.
The team lost contact with Gale and later discovered her caught under a fallen tree.
Her colleagues performed first aid, and she was later airlifted to Queen Victoria Hospital in Revelstoke, where Gale later succumbed to her injuries.
The incident is being investigated by the RCMP, BC Coroners Service, WorkSafeBC and the BC Wildfire Service.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to the family, friends, and fellow firefighters of this young firefighter who tragically lost her life serving her community”, said Cpl. James Grandy, Southeast District RCMP spokesperson, in a press release. “It’s a reminder of the inherent risks first responders face working tirelessly to protect our communities.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered condolences this morning in a tweet, saying “We must never forget the risks these heroes take every time they run toward the danger.”
The news from British Columbia – that one of the firefighters bravely battling wildfires has lost her life – is heartbreaking. At this incredibly difficult time, I’m sending my deepest condolences to her family, her friends, and her fellow firefighters.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 14, 2023
Revelstoke Mayor Gary Sulz spoke about the incident Friday morning.
“In true Revelstoke style, we’ll reach out and support, the way that we always do,” said Sulz. “The community will wrap their arms around this family and make sure they’re taken care of.”
B.C. Premier David Eby took to Twitter this morning to share his feelings on the incident, saying “This tragedy serves as a heartbreaking reminder that they are often putting their lives on the line to do so.”
We are deeply saddened to hear about the tragic incident involving a BC Wildfire Service firefighter. On behalf of all British Columbians, we extend our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of this crew member.
— David Eby (@Dave_Eby) July 14, 2023
The Gale family is asking for community members to make a donation to the Revelstoke Community Foundation (RCF) in lieu of flowers.
“The goal is to allow Devyn’s vibrant legacy to live forever in the Revelstoke community,” said RCF in a post on Facebook. “The Gale family appreciates the outpouring of support. Thank you, Revelstoke, for loving this family and keeping them in your prayers.”
Visit revelstokecommunityfoundation.com/donate to donate.
There are currently 363 active wildfires in B.C., including two near Revelstoke which are considered ‘out of control’.
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