YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (CBS13) – Cal Fire has grounded their air tanker fleet as federal investigators continue their probe into Tuesday’s air tanker crash.
At Wednesday morning’s press conference, Cal Fire officials announced that the man killed in the crash was a veteran pilot who had been flying for more than 13 years. Wednesday afternoon, the pilot was officially identified as 62-year-old Geoffrey “Craig” Hunt from San Jose.READ MORE: Fire Damages Commercial Structure In Arden-Arcade
The tanker was helping fight the Dog Rock Fire, which started near Highway 140. As of Wednesday morning, officials noted, the fire has burned about 210 acres and is 0% contained.
Cal Fire will be keeping their fleet of air tankers grounded until they evaluate the status of the aircrafts and pilots, officials said. U.S. Forest Service aircraft will help with the firefight for the time being.READ MORE: Gov. Newsom Pardons Woman Sentenced To Life In 90s For Fatally Shooting Abuser
Few details on the crash have been released. Officials said they lost contact with the pilot just before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Search and rescue crews were able to find the wreckage of the plane later Tuesday evening.
The crash site is in an area of dense vegetation and steep terrain. The pilot’s body is not expected to be recovered until late Wednesday morning, officials said.MORE NEWS: Kings Run Away In 4th, Top Heat 81-64 At California Classic