An air tanker plane being used to fight a wildfire in Yosemite National Park crashed in flames on Tuesday, but the fate of the pilot was not immediately known, officials for the park and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.
Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said in a tweet that the plane went down near the so-called Dog Rock Fire and that the condition of the pilot was "undetermined."
Eyewitnesses saw the plane slam into the wall of a cliff above Highway 140 near the Arch Rock entrance to Yosemite on the western edge of the park, "and yes there was a lot of fire," park spokeswoman Kari Cobb told Reuters by telephone.
She said crews were just reaching the site of the wreckage several hours after the accident. There was no word on what caused the crash.
Cal Fire spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff said the pilot was believed to be the only person aboard the Grumman S2T, a two-engine aircraft that had been deployed over the fire.