YUBA CITY (CBS13) – A firefighter from Yuba City has died in a helicopter crash in Texas.

(Credit: U.S. Forest Service)

The U.S. Forest Service says 41-year-old Daniel J. Laird was helping with a controlled burn in the Sam Houston National Forest on Wednesday when the helicopter he was in went down.

Laird, a Helitack captain from the Tahoe National Forest, died at the scene.

Forest Service officials released a statement on Friday, writing that Laird was committed to his job.

“His passion was in aviation, but he was also known for his ability to lead a strike team of engines or a task force of hand crews and heavy equipment,” wrote Joe Navratil, Director of Public Affairs and Communications for the Forest Service. “He was a true leader in every sense.”

Laird is survived by his wife and daughter.

Exactly what caused the crash is unclear. Both the FAA and NTSB are investigating the crash.


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