Officials of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada say a wildfire burning in a remote area near Pitt Lake, northeast of Vancouver, was sparked by a crashed helicopter. The fire is burning about 8 km north of the lake, near the Upper Pitt River Hatchery.
The safety board said the Airbus Helicopters AS355 F2 had flown out of a Langley airfield and was attempting to land on a forestry service road around 2:15 p.m. Sunday. While landing on a forestry service road, the pilot lost control. The rotor blades contacted the ground and the helicopter rolled over, sparking a grass fire.
The pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries and managed to escape the helicopter. The helicopter was substantially damaged from the crash and fire.
The Coquitlam RCMP, which had a patrol boat in the areas at the time, said fuel from the downed craft came in contact with the helicopter’s hot engine and ignited.
Wildfire officials say the fire is burning in an area accessible only by air or water but is not threatening any structures.
The investigation is ongoing.