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Heavy smoke from the wildfires prevented the STARS air ambulance from landing near the scene of a fatal motorcycle accident in southern Alberta on Sunday, according to police.

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A group of Calgary motorcyclists were traveling in the Kananaskis area Sunday morning when two of the motorcyclists lost control and struck the ditch, RCMP said in a press release. The group was traveling north on Highway 40, about 8 miles north of Highway 541, near the Picklejar Provincial Recreation Area.

Cochrane and Tuner Valley RCMP and other emergency crews responded to reports of a serious vehicle collision there at 11:30 a.m. M.

A 47-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene and the second man, 40, needed immediate medical attention.

The STARS air ambulance was unable to land safely in the area near the accident scene due to heavy smoke from the wildfires. Emergency crews had to transport those involved in the accident by ground ambulance to Turner Valley, where STARS was able to land, RCMP Cpl explained. Teri-Ann Bakker.

The 40-year-old man was taken to hospital by STARS with serious injuries.

Most of the province, including the location of the collision, is under a special air quality declaration due to smoke from the wildfires that is causing poor visibility in some areas of Alberta.

Several emergency crews responded to the remote collision scene to assist, including Kananaskis Emergency Services, Kananaskis Conservation Officer, Turner Valley RCMP, Cochrane RCMP, AHS ground ambulance, and STARS.

Cochrane RCMP is investigating the collision. Highway 40 was opened for travel again Sunday night after the RCMP asked motorists to avoid the area for much of the day.

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