California’s fleet of 22 fire fighting air tankers was cleared after investigators found no evidence that a tanker’s fatal crash at the Dog Rock Fire at Yosemite was a result of faulty equipment.
Breitbart News reported last week that the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that the aircraft crashed near the entrance of the park “under unknown circumstances.”
KSBW in Salinas reported that the reactivated tankers are again being used to fight several ongoing wildfires including the Applegate fire where 450 acres have burned and is now 25% contained. Moreover, one thousand homes are being threatened. Investigators have determined that fire was ignited by a passenger car, but are still investigating whether it was intentional.
Bill Payne, Cal Fire Chief Pilot, stated that the investigation of last week’s crash is ongoing. Meanwhile, he emphasized that all of the 22 planes are well taken care of before any of them are sent on a mission. “They are looked at and inspected, there is a mechanic on each base that looks at them daily, the pilot looks at them daily. So they are very rigorously inspected on a timeline and as needed basis,” he said.
In regard to the downed air tanker, Payne added that “We are not going to quit until every stone is turned over, until every leaf has been looked under, every piece of paper has been examined. We are going to find out to the best of our ability what happened.”
Pilot Greg Hunt, 62, was killed in the crash. His body has been returned to home town San Jose. He was a 13 year veteran of Cal Fire.