A helicopter was dipping into Lake Shastina in order to obtain water to fight the Lava fire when it crashed this week, with the helicopter becoming submerged into the water and the pilot swimming for safety. Photos from the Lake Shastina Fire department show the helicopter in action and underwater following the wreck:
Lake Shastina Fire Department issued a statement about the crash on Facebook:
Yesterday evening LSFD responded to a helicopter crash in Lake Shastina. The helicopter had been dipping into the lake for water to use on the #lavafire when it went down. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Thankfully the pilot was able to exit the submerging helicopter and swim to shore, where the pilot was picked up by the green helicopter pictured. The pilot was assessed by medical staff and is okay. Resources are actively working on locating the helicopter for extraction from the lake.
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.
As of Thursday, the Lava Fire sits at 25,003 acres with 70 percent containment.