A waterbombing helicopter has crashed on the NSW south coast, killing the pilot, reported ABC news.
Paramedics were called to Woodstock in the Shoalhaven Area at about 2:15 p.m.
According to The Daily Telegraph, emergency services confirmed that the sole pilot in the plane had died after the helicopter crashed into a tree. Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson said the helicopter had been “involved in firefighting operations and crashed into terrain.”
A NSW Police spokesman said that “[s]ignificant resources” from emergency services including a rescue helicopter have been dispatched to the area.
The helicopter, a Kawasaki BK117, was built in 1994 and was first registered in Australian in 2015, according to ABC; it had been contracted by the NSW Rural Fire Service to work on the Kingiman fire burning west of Ulladulla when it crashed.
More than 1,600 hectares at Mount Kingiman have been burnt since an emergency warning was issued on Aug. 15.
According to ABC, the fire blaze is still burning in the area of Woodstock, west of Burrill Lake.
On Aug. 15, residents living west of Burrill Lake and along Woodstock Road were urged to prepare their bushfire survival plan as firefighters continued to tackle the Kingman fire.
Fire and Rescue NSW head out to the scene of where a helicopter has crashed into the fireground at Kingiman off Plott Road. pic.twitter.com/XNyOHNLCf8
— Emily Barton (@emilybarton1211) August 17, 2018
Woodstock residents were told to seek shelter in solid structures as the blaze threatened properties. Residents were told that it was “too late to leave” their properties.
NSW Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said the fires at both Bega and Ulladulla were “quite big” and would stay uncontained for “some time,” reported the ABC.
“It’ll be days and days to try and get containment of both of those fires,” he said.
“We’re still expecting difficult conditions right into tomorrow, and then we’re concerned about a return to gusty conditions on Saturday when most of these fires will still be burning.”