A helicopter pilot fighting a blaze in the mountains of the San Bernardino National Forest was killed Sunday when his water-dropping chopper crashed, authorities said.
The Bell 206 helicopter, one of six helicopters and 10 air tankers fighting the blaze near Hemlock, went down about 4:45 p.m., said Bruce Nelson, operations manager for the Federal Aviation Administration. He had no further details.
The National Transportation Safety Board will begin investigating the incident this morning, he said.
The pilot, who was believed to be the only person aboard the craft, was not identified Sunday night. Other aircraft fighting the 2,400-acre fire were grounded in the wake of the accident, officials said. About 400 firefighters continued to battle the flames on the ground.
Authorities with the U.S. Forest Service said they did not have a precise location of the crash, and had no further information about how it happened.