A helicopter pilot with Yellowhead Helicopters died in a crash earlier this week while battling a wildfire west of Edmonton.
Heath Coleman, who was also the base manager at Mike Weigele Helicopter Skiing, was helping to fight wildfire EWF-075 when his helicopter crashed on June 28 in the Evansburg area, MWHS confirmed in a Facebook post Sunday, July 4. He was 48.
The post noted that while Coleman hailed from Prince George, his “second home” was in Blue River, as he spent half his time from October to May each year working for MWHS – a job he held for over 20 years. He was known to guests as “Heater,” according to the Facebook post.
“Heath loved to fly and was one of the most experienced pilots in the industry,” the post reads. “While at Weigele’s, Heath welcomed the opportunity to socialize with guests and was fondly embraced by those who returned year after year.
“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.”
Coleman leaves behind his wife, Jennifer, and their two adult sons, Danton and Ethen.
“As a first responder in fighting wildfires, Heath lost his life in the line of duty while protecting people and property,” the Facebook post continues. “We honour his service to others as the highest calling.”
A GoFundMe has been created for those who would like to support his family.