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Air Tank Crashes In Flames

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An airtanker fighting a wild fire in the Sierra Nevada crashed and burst into flames this afternoon near Walker, California.

Details are still sketchy. There´s no word yet on dead or injured. Fire crews have now turned their attention to snuffing out the fire around the crash scene near U-S Highway 395 east of Walker.

A spokeswoman for the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center in Minden, Nevada, confirms the airtanker went down shortly before three o´clock this afternoon.

Laura Williams says a fire ensued in the vegetation around the plane. She says she has no information on the size of the crew or any medical reports. She says firefighting airtankers typically have a crew of three.

A news reporter for KOLO T-V in Reno saw the crash. Terri Russell says one of the wings on fire before it started to lose altitude and then crashed into the wildfire.

Fire officials say they have grounded the two remaining airtankers and the eight helicopters that were fighting the 6,500-acre fire near the Nevada-California line about 90 miles south of Reno.