Helicopter crashes while fighting wildfire

Helicopter crashes while fighting wildfire

A firefighting helicopter crashed while in effort to battle a wildfire in northern Portugal. The copter crashed and exploded on Sunday, killing its pilot and further raising the death toll from the country's deadliest summer of wildfires.

 "The helicopter hit high-tension wires and crashed. The aircraft caught fire after hitting the ground, causing the death of the pilot, who was the only person onboard," Civil Protection Commander Rui Esteves told a briefing.

The incident occurred in the Castro Daire area, 320 km (200 miles) northeast of Lisbon.

Under pressure to limit the damage since a single fire killed 64 people in June, the government last week declared a state of public calamity in various parts of the country which has borne the brunt of a heatwave across much of southern Europe.

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