A Eurocopter AS355, similar to the one shown, caused a forest fire north of Pitt Lake Sunday. (Flickr)

A Eurocopter AS355, similar to the one shown, caused a forest fire north of Pitt Lake Sunday. (Flickr)

UPDATED: Helicopter crash sparked wildfire north of Pitt Lake

The pilot was flying from Langley to Pitt Lake and lost control on landing

The five hectare forest fire that broke out north of Pitt Lake on Sunday was caused by a helicopter missing its landing.

According to the Transportation Safety Board, one pilot and one passenger were on board the Eurocopter AS355 when it took off from Langley midday Sunday and flew towards Pitt Lake before crashing at about 2:15 p.m.

“The aircraft was landing on a forestry road and as the aircraft was touching down, the pilot lost control,” a spokesperson said.

“The rotor blades contacted the ground and the aircraft rolled onto its side.”

Both the pilot and passenger suffered minor injuries but the helicopter was “substantially damaged.”

The forest fire, which has more than doubled in size since Sunday, is about eight kilometres north of Pitt Lake and near the Upper Pitt river hatchery.

BC Wildfire said that the fire is proving hard to fight, with high winds expected and accessible only by air and water and no structures are at risk.

“It’s basically burning in timber of a steep hillside,” said fire information officer Jeanne Larson.

“But there’s nothing there, no infrastructure.”

Currently, BC Wildfire has dispatched a three-person initial attack crew, two fallers, a 10 person fire suppression crew and two helicopters to the site.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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