Two firefighting planes collide while battling Nevada’s Bishop Fire; FAA, NTSB investigating

Aerial resources responded to help suppress the approximately 7000-acre Bishop Fire in Rainbow Canyon, about 17 miles southwest of Caliente, Nev.

LAS VEGAS – Two airplanes collided while battling a 500-acre wildfire in southeastern Nevada, according to authorities.

The two single-engine Air Tractor AT8T airplanes collided in midair around 1 p.m. Thursday during firefighting activities to suppress the Bishop Fire, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Claire Morville.

The planes were involved in the firefighting operation, and one person was aboard each aircraft, Morville said. 

The FAA directed all questions about the pilots’ conditions to local authorities. Bureau of Land Management spokesman Chris Hanefeld was not immediately available for comment Thursday.

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The fire started Wednesday in Rainbow Canyon – an area about 150 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The accident happened near the intersection of Kane Springs Road and Riggs Road, Morville said.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the collision. The NTSB will determine the probable cause of the accident.

Smoke from the Bishop Fire drifts over southwestern Utah Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

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