Firefighting Plane Damaged in “Hard Landing”

A Cal Fire plane was damaged Friday night after battling a blaze in Riverside County

During a weekend of extreme fire danger, state fire officials are reeling from a hard landing of a firefighting airtanker at an airstrip after a brush fire in Riverside County.

A Cal Fire airtanker was damaged when it landed at the Hemet Ryan Air Attack Base on Friday at 5:40 p.m., officials said in a press release.

Current Weather Conditions

The Grumman S-2T airtanker was returning from a small wildfire in the community of Good Hope. There were no injuries.

The runway at Hemet Ryan Airport was closed temporarily while the National Transportation Safety Board investigated the incident.

"This serves as a stark reminder of the danger of our profession," said Chief Ken Pimlott, the Cal Fire director, in a statement. "We must continue to keep public and firefighter safety a priority, especially during these Red Flag conditions."

As part of its air fleet Cal Fire owns 23 S-2T Grumman air tankers.

Firefighters were bracing for extreme fire danger through the weekend as wind gusts peaked at 70 mph in Castaic, about 40 miles north of downtown LA.

The National Weather Service extended “Red Flag Warnings” for LA and Orange counties into Sunday evening as heat, wind speeds and humidity combined to make conditions ripe for brush fires.

The city of LA extended its red flag parking prohibitions on narrow hillside streets in the Hollywood Hills until the winds die down. Affected areas are marked with signs.

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