According to eyewitness reports and the Larimer County Emergency radio channel, an air tanker has crashed near the Hermit Park / Pole Hill / Little Valley areas east of Estes Park, Colorado. The crash occurred just after dark while fighting the Kruger Rock Fire. Photographer Brett Rios (whose photos have been featured in today’s coverage of the KRF.) He was in the area photographing the fire, when he witnessed the plane go down.
According to the US Forest Service:
Single Engine Airtanker (SEAT)
Single Engine Airtankers (SEATs) can deliver up to 800 gallons of fire retardant to support firefighters on the ground. These small airplanes can reload and operate in areas where larger airtankers cannot. Aircraft types: Air Tractor AT-802.
The responders already on the scene fighting the wildfire have notified the FAA and the Air Force Aircraft Rescue Team, and fire and paramedics are responding to the area to stage and search for the downed aircraft
We will have further information as this story evolves.