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Tanker plane fighting Idaho’s Schill Fire crashes outside Emmett. One pilot is dead.

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Posted at 9:14 PM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 11:25:08-04

EMMETT, Idaho — This article was written by Ruth Brown and Jacob Scholl of the Idaho Statesman.

One person is dead after a single-engine air tanker plane fighting the Schill Fire outside of Emmett crashed just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, according to Idaho Fire Information, which is operated by the Bureau of Land Management.

According to a Tuesday night tweet from BLM’s fire and aviation division, the pilot died sometime after the crash on Tuesday. The bureau did not release any further information, pending notification of the pilot’s family.

The Federal Aviation Administration published preliminary information on the crash sometime early Wednesday morning. In a brief description, the aircraft reportedly “crashed in a ravine under unknown circumstances” while conducting fire fighting operations. Only one person was in the plane when it crashed, and no other injuries were reported in the crash, according to the FAA preliminary information.

Damage to the aircraft is said to be “substantial,” according to the FAA report.

A tanker plane is used to drop fire retardant on a wildfire. The Schill Fire was burned about 30 acres east of Emmett, and BLM says it was contained late Tuesday night.