SACRAMENTO (AP) – A new report says a firefighter battling the largest wildfire in California history was killed last month when thousands of gallons of flame-suppressing liquid were dropped from a Boeing 747 flying only 100 feet (30 meters) above treetops.

The retardant struck with such force it uprooted an 87-foot (27-meter) tree that fell on Matthew Burchett. He was a battalion chief from Utah helping with the Mendocino Complex Fire north of San Francisco.

The report released Friday by California’s firefighting agency says the pilot in a small lead plane nearly ran the jetliner into the trees because the pilots failed to recognize a hill in the middle of the flight path. Firefighters were working on the hill.

Another large tree was snapped by the liquid and injured three firefighters, one seriously.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.

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