Pilot contracted to help fight Ontario wildfires dies in airport incident

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A number of flights into the airport from Toronto and Sioux Lookout, Ont., were either cancelled or diverted as a result of the airport closure. (Michael Fox, MBA / Twitter)

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Ontario says a pilot contracted to help fight northern wildfires has died after an incident at an airport in Thunder Bay.

The province says the pilot worked for one of its long-term contract aircraft providers, MAG Aerospace Canada.

It says the pilot died Monday during an unspecified incident at the Thunder Bay airport, while en route to Dryden, Ont., for routine maintenance.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says the pilot was the only occupant of a bird dog aircraft – a plane that flies with waterbombers.

The ministry says the Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

Last month, a contract firefighter working in the Fort Frances, Ont., area died following a medical issue.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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