Fort Liard is mourning the passing of Adam Yeadon, a 25-year-old killed by a falling tree as he fought a fire near the NWT community on Saturday.
His partner, Keanna McLeod, said Adam had been a loving father to the couple’s young daughter.
“He worked for her, made time for her, he really loved being with her, playing with her. When he’d go out of town, he would call us. He just loved her so much,” she said.
Adam grew up in Bella Coola and Williams Lake before moving to Fort Liard, McLeod said, where he found his calling as a firefighter and had a passion for living on the land.
Adam’s death was confirmed by the NWT government on Sunday. He had been fighting a fire just north of the British Columbia border.
News of his passing brought tributes from communities across the territory and beyond. The Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation and Hay River’s firefighters were among those to send notices of their respects to the Fort Liard-based Acho Dene Koe First Nation.
McLeod said the couple had met in February 2020 on a walk in the community.
She said she had been struck by Adam’s “personality and his smile.”
“Just him in general, he was such an outgoing person. Everyone loved him and being around him,” she told Cabin Radio.
“He just liked being out, discovering new places and being out on the land – new people, experiencing new things.
“And he was a good father to our daughter.”
Speaking to the CBC, Adam’s father, Jack, said he took great pride in his firefighting work.
“He was sharing with me the joy that he was getting out of being strong, and picking stuff up, and throwing hose out in the bush, and all those things,” he was quoted as saying by the broadcaster.
Adam’s passing has drawn national and international attention. He is the second firefighter to be killed in the line of duty in Canada in a matter of days, following the death of a 19-year-old in BC.
The exact circumstances in which Adam was killed remain unclear.
Details of a service in his memory are yet to be announced.