While trying to put out a large brush fire in California this Sunday, two helicopters collided mid- air causing one of the air crafts to crash, tragically killing all three people onboard.
The helicopters were working to put out a large natural fire blazing across 20 acres of Native American land in Cabazon, CA. The crashing of the helicopters created another 4 acres of fire in the area that officials had to extinguish. One of the helicopters landed safely with no casualties or injuries.
The Cal Fire Southern Region Chief, David Fulcher, told reporters that although one of the helicopters was able to make a safe landing after the collision, “unfortunately, the second helicopter crashed and tragically all three members perished, which included one Cal Fire Division chief, one Cal Fire captain and one contract client pilot.”
According to the fire captain, Richard Cordova, the contract pilot worked for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Authorities are not positive of what caused the crash, but the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office told reporters that it is under investigation. Chief Fulcher told reporters: “I would like to express our deepest sympathies and sorrow to the family and coworkers of the personnel. . . this was a tragic loss for the fire service community and Cal Fire and Riverside County Fire Department.”