A DynCorp International pilot killed while battling a fire in Yosemite National Park under a contract with CAL FIRE has been identified as Geoffrey ‘Craig’ Hunt. Tanker 81, an S-2T plane, lost contact with officials late in the afternoon, and emergency response personnel travelled to the site where contact was last made. Upon arrival at the crash site, they confirmed that the pilot had died.
CAL FIRE director Chief Ken Pimlott said: “We continue to mourn the tragic loss of Craig … This crash underscores just how inherently dangerous wildland firefighting is, and the job is further compounded this year by extreme fire conditions.”
Jeff Cavarra, programme director for DynCorp International, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Craig’s family during this difficult time.”
Don Neubacher, Yosemite National Park superintendent, expressed the condolences of the National Park Community, stating that Hunt died ‘serving and protecting the public from wildland fire’.
The National Transportation Safety Board has commenced an investigation with the support of CAL FIRE.
Hunt had been flying out of Holister Air Attack Base to tackle the Dog Rock Fire burning near Arch Rock. He flew with DynCorp International for the past 13 years.