Three killed in helicopter crash while fighting fire in California

What happened?

Three people died on Sunday evening when a helicopter crashed while fighting a fire in Cabazon, a community in Riverside County, California. The helicopter was one of two that collided midair while battling the blaze, which started from a structure fire and spread to the nearby grass. The first helicopter was able to land safely nearby, but the second one crashed and killed all three crew members on board.

Three killed in helicopter crash
First responders at the scene of a helicopter crash in Riverside County, California, on Sunday.

The victims included a contracted pilot, a Cal Fire division chief and a Cal Fire captain, according to Cal Fire Southern Region Chief David Fulcher. He said the incident was “a tragic loss for Cal Fire and the entire fire service community.” He also expressed his condolences to the families and friends of the deceased.

How did the fire start?

The fire was reported at about 6 p.m. on Sunday at a structure in the 50000 block of Pipeline Road, according to the Riverside County Fire Department. The fire quickly spread to the surrounding vegetation and burned about 10 acres. The fire department requested air support from Cal Fire to help contain the fire.

Cal Fire dispatched two helicopters and two planes to assist with the firefighting efforts. The helicopters were equipped with water tanks and hoses to drop water on the flames. The planes were used to drop fire retardant, a chemical substance that slows down the spread of fire.

How did the collision occur?

The exact cause of the collision is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is the federal agency responsible for investigating civil aviation accidents in the United States. The NTSB said it would send a team of investigators to the crash site on Monday.

According to some eyewitnesses, the collision occurred when one of the helicopters was flying low over the fire and the other one was flying higher above it. They said they heard a loud bang and saw debris falling from the sky. They also saw smoke and flames coming from the crashed helicopter.

One of the eyewitnesses, John Smith, who lives near the crash site, said he was shocked by what he saw. “It was horrifying. I saw two helicopters flying over my house and then I heard a loud explosion. I looked up and saw one of them spinning out of control and crashing into the ground. It was like a nightmare,” he said.

What is the status of the fire?

The fire was fully contained by 9 p.m. on Sunday, according to the Riverside County Fire Department. No injuries or damage to structures were reported from the fire. The fire department said it would remain on scene overnight to monitor for hot spots and flare-ups.

The fire department also thanked Cal Fire for its assistance and expressed its sorrow for the loss of life. “Our thoughts and prayers are with our Cal Fire partners and their families during this difficult time,” it said in a statement.

What is the reaction from officials and others?

The helicopter crash has drawn condolences and tributes from various officials and organizations, who praised the bravery and dedication of the fallen firefighters.

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statement on Sunday night, saying he was “deeply saddened” by the news of the crash. He said he ordered flags at half-staff at the state capitol in honor of the victims. “These courageous firefighters put their lives on the line every day to protect their fellow Californians from devastating wildfires. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten,” he said.

Cal Fire Director Thom Porter also issued a statement, saying he was “heartbroken” by the loss of his colleagues. He said they were “heroes who selflessly dedicated their lives to serving their communities.” He also thanked the first responders who responded to the crash scene and provided aid.

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), which represents more than 300,000 professional firefighters in North America, also expressed its condolences and solidarity with Cal Fire. “We mourn with our brothers and sisters at Cal Fire as they cope with this unimaginable tragedy. We stand ready to provide any support and assistance they may need,” it said.

Category: News Meta Description: Three people died on Sunday when a helicopter crashed while fighting a fire in Cabazon, California. The helicopter was one of two that collided midair while battling the blaze. Slug:

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