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Wildfire crew looking for newly started fire finds B.C. hiker missing for two weeks

Police said the man had been dropped off in the park on July 7 for a solo trek and was reported overdue when he failed to meet up as planned. 
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British Columbia's provincial flag flies in Ottawa, July 3, 2020. Crews responding to a wildfire made a welcome discovery in the rugged backcountry of Garibaldi Provincial Park, north of Vancouver on Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

SQUAMISH, B.C. — A wildfire attack crew looking for a newly started forest fire instead found a man who had been missing in the rugged backcountry of Garibaldi Provincial Park, north of Vancouver.

A statement from Squamish RCMP said the hiker missing in the park for two weeks was found safe on Thursday. 

A search for 33-year-old Daniel Ring began July 9.

Bryan Zandberg, an information assistant with the B.C. Wildfire Service's Coastal Fire Centre, said a three-person crew and a helicopter pilot were on their way to investigate a report of a fire when they spotted the man.

“They saw somebody down on the ground, arms waving and signalling for help," Zandberg said. 

The area where Ring was spotted is very remote, he said. 

“I can only imagine being lost for two weeks. I look at the map and he was in Elfin Lakes where they found him. It’s quite a distance." 

Police said Ring had been dropped off in the park on July 7 for a solo trek and was reported overdue when he failed to meet up as planned. 

The statement from RCMP said "there was a literal cheer" in the detachment when members of Coastal Fire reported they found Ring. 

Cpl. Angela Kermer did not provide an update on his condition but said police have "connected him with his family."

Zandberg said it was only after the crew landed to help the man that they found out he had been missing.  

The crew flew him to a waiting ambulance and RCMP, then went back to investigate the fire they were originally called about, he said. 

"I think everybody's really glad he was found," Zandberg said. “It’s a silver lining, for sure." 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press