National/World

Air tanker crash kills 2 at Utah wildfire site

Sunday, June 03, 2012
In this Tuesday, May 29, 2012 photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, fire retardant is dropped on a wildfire from a plane in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico. More than 1,200 firefighters are battling the nations largest wildfire that has charred 340 square miles, or 218,000 acres, of terrain in the rugged mountains and canyons of southwestern New Mexico. (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Mark Pater)

In this Tuesday, May 29, 2012 photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, fire retardant is dropped on a wildfire from a plane in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico. More than 1,200 firefighters are battling the nation's largest wildfire that has charred 340 square miles, or 218,000 acres, of terrain in the rugged mountains and canyons of southwestern New Mexico. (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Mark Pater) (AP Photo)

Authorities say two pilots were killed when their air tanker crashed while fighting a wildfire in western Utah.

Iron County sheriff's Detective Sgt. Jody Edwards tells the Salt Lake Tribune that sheriff's deputies were able to reach the plane after the Sunday afternoon crash. Edwards says they confirmed that the pilots had died. The cause of the crash is unknown.

The pilots were dropping retardant on the 5,000-acre White Rock Fire, which began burning Friday night after a lightning strike in eastern Nevada. The fire spread across the Utah line Saturday night, but most of the blaze remains in Nevada.

The Bureau of Land Management says in a statement that the P-2V tanker went down shortly before 1:00 p.m. The plane is owned by Neptune Aviation Services, a Missoula, Mont.-based company.

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plane crash, wild fire, utah, national/world
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