Helicopter crashes, 4 firefighters injured in California

This occurred on the Buckhorn fire, one of the fires in the Iron Complex in Trinity County late on Tuesday, August 5, 2008. The first report of the accident came in at 7:45 p.m. The information was provided by a spokesperson from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

JUNCTION CITY, Calif. — Four firefighters were seriously injured when their helicopter went down while transporting crew members from a wildfire in Northern California.

Two of the firefighters were in critical condition at the University of California Medical Center in Sacramento, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Mike Odle said today. The other two were in serious condition at Mercy Medical Center in Redding, he said.

They were injured when their Sikorsky S-61 helicopter crashed Tuesday night near its landing spot, about 15 miles northwest of Junction City, west of Redding, officials said.

The helicopter was transporting firefighters from the north end of a more than 27-square-mile fire burning in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, part of a larger complex of blazes that total 135 square miles.

Odle said he did not immediately know if any others were aboard the helicopter. A crash investigation team was heading to the site Wednesday.

(from the Tahoe Daily Tribune



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