07/14/2015 04:30 EDT | Updated 07/14/2016 05:59 EDT

Embarrassing leak: Soldier got lost after relieving himself in forest

A soldier who became lost Monday while fighting fires in northern Saskatchewan is fine today, although his pride might have taken a hit, military officials say.

"I am happy to report, he is uninjured except for his pride, and many lessons, a number of lessons to be learned about this," Brig.-Gen. Wayne Eyre said.

The Canadian Army said the soldier, one of some 600 from the Prairies deployed in the forest fire zone, had walked into the forest to relieve himself in privacy and got lost.

When others noticed he was missing at around 2:20 p.m. CST, a massive search began, involving soldiers, the Wildfire Management Centre, the RCMP, Canadian Rangers, and other agencies.

It virtually shut down firefighting in the area yesterday afternoon. It was a happy ending for the man, who was described as an experienced soldier.

Eyre acknowledges that things broke down, that there should have been a buddy system in place, and the soldier should have stayed in one spot.

Around 8:30 p.m., he was found.
The Canadian Forces will be reviewing its protocols on the fire line, including using a buddy system, Eyre said.

More than 600 wildfires have been burning in Saskatchewan so far this year, resulting in more than 50 communities being evacuated. Some 13,000 people in the north have been forced from their homes.