Air Tanker dropping Retardant on White Rock Fire Crashes,Two Killed.
A Forest Service-contracted P-2V heavy air tanker dropping retardant on the White Rock Fire crashed in the Hamblin Valley area of western Utah shortly before 1 p.m., today. Both crewmembers were killed. Their names have not been released.
The cause of the crash is unknown. The Iron County Sheriff’s Office has responded and emergency response teams and an investigation accident team are en route. The P-2V is owned by Neptune Aviation Services, of Missoula, Mont.
The lightning-ignited White Rock Fire was first reported shortly before 10 p.m., Friday, in Lincoln County, Nev., about 25 miles northeast of Caliente. By Saturday evening, the fire had grown to nearly 5,000 acres and crossed the state line into Iron County, Utah.
The fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain dominated by pinion-pine and juniper trees, sagebrush and grasses. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District is fully suppressing the fire to protect sage-grouse and other wildlife habitat, and for firefighter and public safety. Full containment is expected by Saturday evening, June 9.
For fire information, contact Chris Hanefeld, BLM Ely District fire information officer, at (775) 289-1842 or