Kehewin Man Dies While Fighting Fires in Ontario

JJ Whitmell shared this photo of the Parry Sound 33 forest fire on social media. (Supplied/JJ Whitmell)

A Kehewin resident has died while fighting fires in Northern Ontario.

Jerry Gadwa, an Alberta wildland fighter, passed away while in Red Lake, Ontario yesterday.

Premier Rachel Notley issued the following statement on Gadwa’s death:

“Yesterday, an Alberta wildland firefighter, Mr. Jerry Gadwa, a resident of Kehewin, unexpectedly passed away while supporting fire suppression efforts in Red Lake, Ontario.

“As Albertans, we know all too well the sacrifices of our firefighters and first responders. On behalf of the Government of Alberta, I want to offer our deepest condolences and support to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Gadwa.

“We are one country and we look out for one another. Mr. Gadwa and his fellow firefighters were in Ontario fighting to defend the well-being of their fellow Canadians. The sacrifice they and their families make is extraordinary and is felt heavily in hearts throughout Alberta and across Canada.

“Mr. Gadwa’s brave and selfless actions will be remembered. To those who knew him beyond his career – his family, friends and loved ones – it is my hope that your memories of him give you comfort, and that the shared grief of a grateful province and country provides you with peace. You are in our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers.”

There are close to 50 wildfires in Northern Ontario with accounts of up to 40 per cent of them still out of control.