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Dog Rock Fire Update: Body Of Crashed Air Tanker Pilot Removed; Fire Growth Slows

Yosemite National Park / Facebook
 

Yosemite National Park / Facebook

DOG ROCK FIRE UPDATES:

National Park Service

Yosemite National Park Facebook Page

Yubanet

CalFire News Release

Mariposa County Sheriff


9:45 P.M. Dog Rock fire stands at 246 acres with 10 percent containment as of late Wednesday night. 

Earlier in the day, an honor guard removed the body of CAL FIRE air tanker piolot Geoffrey "Craig" Hunt. 

A California Interagency Incident Management Team 3, a Type 1 team will took over management of the fire Wednesday evening. 

 

12:41 P.M. Cal Fire officials have released the identity of the pilot killed while battling the Dog Rock Fire in Yosemite National Park. 

Authorities say Geoffrey "Craig" Hunt, 62 years old from San Jose is a 13-year veteran pilot with Dyncorp International, which is under contract with Cal Fire. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Craig’s family during this difficult time," says Jeff Cavarra, program director for DynCorp International.

Cal Fire director Ken Pimlot says wildland firefighting is an inherently dangerous job and that Hunt made "the ultimate sacrifice."

"We continue to mourn the tragic loss of Craig," says Pimlott. 

Read more about the investigation.

11 A.M. Dog Rock Fire now at 210 acres and is still zero percent contained. Officials say air quality is at moderate range and webcams at Yosemite National Park are down due to the power outage. 

Highway 140 remains closed, but all other park entrances are open. 

9 A.M. An air tanker sent to take on a wildfire smashed into a canyon wall on the edge of Yosemite National Park Tuesday afternoon, killing the pilot and prompting CAL FIRE on Wednesday to ground all its air tankers. CAL FIRE says it normally does such a safety stand-down after a crash.

Witnesses say the plane smashed into a canyon wall about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and virtually disintegrated on impact, sending wreckage tumbling to the ground below. Several hours later, rescue crews reached the wreckage and confirmed the pilot's death.

Yuba Net reports that the body of the pilot will be taken down today, escorted by firefighters who stayed with the remains overnight.

So far, there's no indication of what may have caused the crash, and the National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation starting today.

The Dog Rock Fire started around 2:30 p.m. yesterday. The fire did not grow much overnight - from 132 acres yesterday afternoon to 150 acres this morning. It's zero percent contained. Highway 140 - El Portal Road - is closed inside Yosemite. Park visitors should use Highways 120 or 41 instead.

Power to the Yosemite Valley has been shut off, with hopes the power will be restored within the next 24 hours.

The 60-home community of Foresta has also been evacuated. Many of the homes there are vacation rentals and therefore unoccupied.

 

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