A helicopter was dipping into Lake Shastina in order to obtain water to fight the Lava fire when it crashed last week, with the helicopter becoming submerged into the water and the pilot swimming for safety. On July 10, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife pulled the aircraft out of the lake, with minimal fuel discharged and no oiled wildlife observed.
It’s still unclear why the helicopter crashed into Shastina, but officials were quick to the scene to provide assistance for the pilot and attempt to mitigate any environmental impacts on the lake. Recovery efforts found the helicopter located 15 feet below the surface of the water, making its retrieval difficult.
Here’s a video of the aircraft removal from CDFW:
VIDEO from yesterday’s helicopter floating and removal from Lake Shastina in Siskiyou County. The aircraft was pulled out of the lake with minimal fuel discharged. No oiled #wildlife observed. pic.twitter.com/PJP8jPZ9wk— CDFW Spill Prevention & Response (@CalSpillWatch) July 12, 2021
The incident illustrates the danger that firefighters see in the line of duty, including air firefighting attacks that require expert maneuvering in a stressful situation. Luckily, no one was injured in the crash.