Plane Battling Yosemite Fire In California Has Crashed [Breaking]

A plane battling the fire burning in Yosemite National Park crashed Tuesday afternoon, authorities have confirmed.

ABC first reported that a press release said that California Fire had lost contact with one of their air tankers working the Yosemite fire. At that time, they said emergency personnel were responding to the last known location of the aircraft.

SF Gate reports that the plane, an air tanker Grumman S2 Tracker operated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, crashed about 4:30 pm near Arch Rock. Ashley Mayer, a Yosemite spokeswoman, has confirmed the crash.

It was not clear whether anyone was on the plane besides the pilot, but the Grumman S2 Tracker is usually flown with only a pilot aboard, said Alyssa Smith, a Cal Fire spokeswoman. The pilot’s status was not immediately known.

The Dog Rock Fire broke out on the west side of Yosemite on Tuesday afternoon, prompting road closures and evacuations as it quickly scorched more than 130 acres, officials said.

The fire began Tuesday afternoon near state Highway 140, which leads into the heart of the park. It has grown to about 130 acres and forced the evacuation of several dozen homes near the community of Foresta.

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