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Thread: Pilot Killed in Fla. Firefighting Copter Crash

  1. #1
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    Pilot Killed in Fla. Firefighting Copter Crash

    Pilot Killed in Fla. Firefighting Copter Crash

    FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- A government helicopter fighting wildfires in southwest Florida crashed Sunday morning, killing the pilot.

    The Bell UH-1 Huey was equipped to carry 200 gallons of water, said Liz Compton, a Florida Department of Agriculture spokeswoman.

    "He had dumped the load and was going back to get more water when he crashed,'' Compton said.

    The helicopter was being flown for the Division of Forestry. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

    The pilot, George A. Burton, 48, had been fighting a fire that reportedly threatened about a dozen homes near Fort Myers. Fire officials could not immediately confirm the extent of the blaze.

    Since the first of the year, 3,300 fires have burned 120,000 acres in Florida.

    In the West, hot, dry conditions have fueled wildfires in several states.

    Firefighters in New Mexico had a blaze in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains about 70 percent contained Sunday. The fire had forced the evacuation of hundreds since it began Monday in a pine forest east of Santa Fe.

    Officials said the fire threat in the area remained high despite thunderstorms Thursday and Friday.

    In Arizona, an 11,000-acre fire in the Kaibab National Forest was about 75 percent contained Sunday. Authorities said the steep rugged terrain has made part of the fire impossible to reach, but natural barriers and fire lines now ring the blaze.

    "Nobody expects it to be completely out until we get some rain on it,'' fire information officer Jason Abraham said.

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Burton, George "Bo" A.

    Age: 48
    Rank: Firefighter/Rotor Craft Pilot
    Status: Career
    Incident Date: 06/04/2000
    Incident Time: 10:30
    Death Date: 06/04/2000

    Cause of Death: Struck By/Contact with Object
    Nature of Death: Internal Trauma
    Emergency Duty: Yes
    Duty Type: Fireground Operations
    Activity Type: Advancing Hose Lines/Fire Attack
    Fixed Prop. Use: Outdoor Property

    Fire Dept. Info:
    FL Division of Forestry
    3125 Conner Boulvard
    Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1650
    Chief: Director Larry Wood

    Final Summary:
    Firefighter/Rotor Craft Pilot Burton was fighting a fire near Fort Myers, Florida. He had been on the scene for approximately 1

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