Firefighting helicopter crashes into Idaho river, 2 on board killed

US Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter flyby
Posted at 11:19 AM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 14:35:27-04

SALMON, Idaho. — A firefighting helicopter with two people aboard crashed Thursday afternoon in the Salmon River in Idaho, killing both on board, officials updated Friday.

“It is with heavy hearts that we confirm … a CH-47D Series ‘Chinook’ helicopter operated by ROTAK Helicopter Services with two pilots on board was involved in an accident in the area near Salmon,” ROTAK Helicopter Services told “Emergency medical teams are responding to the scene.”

The crash was reported around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Both pilots worked for the ROTAK helicopter services who operate a fleet of helicopters in support of wildfire suppression and other missions. A spokeswoman with the U.S. Forest Service said an incident management team is handling the crash.

The Moose Fire started Sunday about 5 miles (8 kilometers) southwest of North Fork in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

The Forest Service said helicopters have been used this week to support ground firefighting resources with water bucket drops.