Pilot Killed in Helicopter Crash Near California Wildfire

Contract pilot was fighting the Hills Fire



Wildland Firefighter

COALINGA, California – A pilot was killed after a helicopter involved in firefighting operations crashed near Coalinga, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and reported by KRON4.

KRON4 stated that the Bell UH-1 helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances 11 miles south of New Coalinga Municipal Airport around 10 a.m., according to an FAA spokesman.

The helicopter belonged to a company contracted to fight the Hills Fire burning near Coalinga.

CAL FIRE spokesman Seth Brown said the crash site is in a remote area southwest of the blaze.

The crash caused a brush fire which then merged with the Hills Fire.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office’s search and rescue team was requested to search the rugged terrain for survivors.

Authorities say the pilot was the only person abroad the helicopter.


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