Pilot escapes after air tanker crashes into Puntzi Lake

A pilot helping battle a wildfire in the Chilcotin escaped after the air tanker he was flying crashed into Puntzi Lake Friday afternoon.

A pilot helping battle a wildfire in the Chilcotin escaped after the single seat air tanker he was flying crashed into Puntzi Lake Friday afternoon.

“He was able to get out and get to shore,” said Kevin Skrepnek, Chief Information Officer with the BC Wildfire Co-ordination Centre late Friday.

The pilot was treated for minor injuries on site and then transferred by helicopter to the hospital in Williams Lake for precautions, Skrepnek said, noting the Transportation Safety Board has been notified and will be investigating the incident.

“Our thoughts are with the pilot and his family, and all the other firefighting crews and aircraft personnel who are working on the Puntzi Lake wildfire and elsewhere in B.C.,” Minister of Forests Steve Thomson said in a media release.

The pilot was flying an Air Tractor AT-802F Fire Boss amphibious air tanker.

The BC Wildfire Service has world-class safety protocols in place and the safety of our firefighting and aircraft crews is paramount, Thomson said, adding the incident is a reminder of the dangers associated with wildfires and the need for all British Columbians to do everything they can to help prevent them.

 


 

 

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