Helicopter pilot dies fighting wildfire in Northwest Territories

YELLOWKNIFE — A helicopter pilot has died while fighting a wildfire in the Northwest Territories.

Transportation Safety Board officials had said an aircraft operated by Great Slave Helicopters crashed Friday at the Fort Good Hope airport.

The company says Tom Frith died while battling a blaze near the community, roughly 800 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife.

Great Slave Helicopters expressed condolences to Frith's family and friends in Yellowknife and Australia.

Wildfire information officer Mike Westwick says the territory's chief coroner confirmed that a contract pilot died while protecting Fort Good Hope.

The community of about 500 people has been under an evacuation order since mid-June.

The fire threatening the community was more than 82 square kilometres in size as of Monday and is listed as out of control.

A state of local emergency is set to be in place until July 13.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2024.

The Canadian Press