Home Breaking News Tragic Collision Claims Lives of Three Heroes in Southern California Wildfire Battle

Tragic Collision Claims Lives of Three Heroes in Southern California Wildfire Battle

by Editorial Desk
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Three lives were tragically lost when a firefighting helicopter collided with another helicopter while combatting a wildfire in southern California. The incident occurred during efforts to control a blaze that had spread from a structure fire in Cabazon on Sunday evening.

Firefighters from Riverside County swiftly responded to the situation as the fire spread to nearby grasslands. To aid in the firefighting, Cal Fire Southern Region Chief David Fulcher called in helicopters and planes. Tragically, while engaged in battling the blaze, two helicopters collided.

In a midnight press briefing, Chief Fulcher shared the devastating news, explaining that the first helicopter managed to land safely nearby. However, the second helicopter, a Bell helicopter used for observation during firefighting operations, crashed, resulting in the loss of all three crew members. The crew included a Cal Fire division chief, a captain, and a contracted pilot.

The crash site was near Pipeline Road and Apache Trail, as reported by the Riverside County Sheriff’s office. The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation into the incident.

Both helicopters were under contract with Cal Fire and had distinct roles in the firefighting operation. The helicopter that landed safely was a Sikorsky Skycrane, equipped to carry and release water or retardant to quell the flames. On the other hand, the Bell helicopter, which unfortunately crashed, was designated for fire observation.

The collision resulted in an additional four-acre fire, but firefighters were able to promptly extinguish it. The tragic incident serves as a reminder of the risks that firefighters undertake in their noble efforts to protect lives and property from wildfires.

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