Credit: J. Michael Johnson/NPS
Authorities fear nine fire fighters died in last night’s helicopter crash northwest of Redding.
The crash occurred at around 7:30pm Tuesday over a steep, rugged and wooded area in Trinity County, some 35 miles northwest of Redding. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor:
Gregor: “The helicopter caught fire upon crashing. Four of the people on board suffered critical burns but survived, and the other nine are missing and presumed dead.”
Three of the four survivors are getting treatment at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. One’s in critical condition; the other two are serious. The fourth survivor is in stable condition at a Redding hospital.
The helicopter was shuttling crews to fight the Iron Complex Wildland Fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are both sending investigators to the crash scene.
Update: The Forest Service says all 13 people on board the helicopter were contracted fire fighters from a private company in Oregon.