Canadian Firefighting Plane Crashes
Additional planes sent in from Ontario and Alberta to help fight fires.
A firefighting plane which was dispatched to put out forest-fires in western Canada has crashed, killing the two pilots and igniting another fire. Unfortunately, the blazing fire prevented rescue crews from reaching the wreckage, in the interior of the province of British Columbia.
British Columbia, which is facing some horrible tinder-dry conditions these days, had issued a warning of "extreme" fire danger. BC has also called in firefighters from other provinces to help with this recent outburst of wildfires. Just this weekend, BC authorities had to handle more than 350 fires across the province, with the largest, near the BC-Yukon border, covering about 100 sq km.
"The fire danger rating for most of British Columbia is high to extreme, and weather forecasters are not expecting it to improve any time soon," the BC Ministry of Forests said. As aforementioned, about 250 firefighters with additional aircraft have been brought into BC from both Alberta and Ontario to help the local crews fight the blazes.
The water-bombing Buffalo airplane crashed on Saturday evening about 160km north-east of Vancouver, near a small town by the name of Lytton. "There were no survivors from the accident,” said air operator spokesman Rick Pedersen.
Canada's Transportation Safety Board hopes that the second plane, which was shadowing the Buffalo airplane, might be able to help with the investigation and shed some light on the incident. However, considering the tough flying conditions, it is possible the second crew didn't see the incident, just like the case of the IAF's helicopter crash in Romania, when the weather conditions blocked the crew's line of sight.
"Witnesses on the ground also saw the crash,” said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Corporal Dan Moskaluk. Perhaps their testimony can assist the investigation too. He also praised the work of the firefighting air crews saying "these individuals that carry out these flying duties are a very dedicated and committed group of individuals very passionate about their work.” So far, no information regarding the whereabouts of the black box has been released.