South Africa: Pilot killed in South Africa firefight operation

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A pilot has been killed after his helicopter crashed while on fire-fighting operations in South Africa’s Western Cape Province.

He was flying near Vermaaklikheid, which is on the Garden Route, a well-known tourist area.

The fire-fighting organisation Working On Fire (Wof) confirmed the incident.

“The helicopter went down near the fire at approximately 09:45 (07:45 GMT) on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, while conducting firefighting operations,” Wof spokesman Linton Rensburg said in a statement.

The Western Cape provincial government has already paid tribute to the pilot and sent its condolences to his family.

“The family, friends and the community of firefighters are in our thoughts at this time,” Western Cape Environment minister Anton Bredell said.

More resources have been deployed in the Overberg region to fight the blaze, caused by a heatwave, the provincial government added.