Fillmore, CA Helicopter Crash, Aug 1972


Fillmore (UPI) -- Six firefighters were killed Saturday and five injured, some critically, when a helicopter ferrying in fresh crews crashed and burned in the blackened hills of the Los Padres National Forest not far from the refuge of the nearly extinct California condor.
Spokesmen for the US forest Service said the 13-man helicopter crashed deep in the Ventura County Mountains where some 4,400 firefighters had been battling a raging brush fire for five days.
The large chopper apparently was bringing in fresh firefighting crews to relieve other men who had been on the firelines for up to 12 hours.
Cause of the crash of the Bell 205 helicopter was not immediately known, authorities said. The craft went down atop the 6,500 foot Topa Topa ridge, where flames spilled over this week and burned a portion of the wilderness home of the rare California condor.
Before Saturday's crash US forest Service officials had reported only a few minor injuries in the firefighting effort.
Considered the state's worst brush fire this season, the fire was expected to be contained by Sunday morning, after the coastal mountains were enveloped in the third straight day of cool coastal air.

Fresno Bee California 1972-08-27