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The State

October 08, 1987

A twin-engine water tanker plane crashed and burned, killing the pilot, as nearly 6,000 firefighters continued battling blazes in the Klamath National Forest in Humboldt County and a new fire that erupted 30 miles south of Salinas. The death of pilot Donn Johnson, 50, of Carlotta, brought to 10 the number of firefighters killed during the disastrous blazes that have swept California forest lands since late August. The aircraft crashed near Weott in Humboldt County while fighting about 15 lightning-caused fires, California Division of Forestry officials said. So far, 253,021 acres have been burned there. Near Chualar, about 30 miles south of Salinas, more than 300 firefighters battled a 700-acre blaze that started in brush.

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