A helicopter involved in firefighting operations has crashed in northwestern Alberta, killing a pilot. 

Todd Loewen, Alberta's forestry minister, offered condolences to the pilot's family, friends and colleagues on Thursday.

"Today’s tragic news is a reminder that the heroes who put their lives on the line to protect us are men and women like you and me. They have families, friends, hopes and dreams," he said in a written statement. 

"While we mourn a life lost in the line of duty, Alberta’s brave first responders continue to put themselves in danger every day to protect Alberta families."

Transportation Safety Board spokesman Chris Krepski said two investigators are en route to the scene in a remote area northeast of Peace River, Alta.

"They will be on site later today to begin gathering information and assessing the occurrence," he said. 

Krepski said an emergency locator transmitter signal was received Wednesday at about 6 p.m. He said the downed aircraft is currently in a marshy area near Haig Lake, roughly 140  kilometres northeast of Peace River. 

He said it was operated by Valhalla Helicopters, based in West Kelowna, B.C., which declined to comment. 

Krepski said there was one person on board. RCMP were not immediately available to comment. 

As of Thursday morning, Alberta had 117 active wildfires, 17 of which were considered out of control. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 20, 2023.