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