NEAR SHADY COVE, Ore. — Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) crews confirmed the pilot on a helicopter fighting fires on Highway 62 is not injured.
The pilot reported an in-flight emergency around 3 p.m. Sunday and told officials he was going down. ODF crews said he lost power but his rotar was still spinning. The helicopter was damaged by the landing. Shortly after, the pilot reported by cell phone that he was okay.
It all started when two fires burned within minutes of each other on Highway 62. The first one started on the 23000 block of Hwy 62 in Shady Cove. Crews contained that fire at 4.8 acres. The other fire started near Laurelhurst Road in Trail. That fire was contained at an eighth of an acre. The ODF-contracted helicopter switched from the first fire to the second and after being released, the engine failed.
Fire crews from Shady Cove Fire District 4 report the helicopter landing in a remote, heavily wooded area not near any roads between the two fires. It took crews over an hour to reach the helicopter. Crews are continuing an investigation to the incident.