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2 people dead after helicopter crashes near Moose Fire

Moose Fire
Posted at 11:34 AM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-23 11:54:05-04

(UPDATE, 1:48 pm) Two people died when the helicopter crashed. ROTAK Helicopter Services released a statement to East Idaho News stating that Thomas “Tommy” Hayes of Post Falls, Idaho, 41 years old, and and Jared Bird of Anchorage, Alaska, 36, died when the chopper went down at about 3:30 p.m.

"We are devastated to confirm the two pilots aboard our CH-47D Series Chinook helicopter perished in an accident Thursday afternoon near Salmon as they worked to help contain the Moose Fire burning in the Salmon-Challis National Forest," the statement reads.

"Tommy and Jared represented the absolute best our country has to offer,” said ROTAK Helicopter Services General Manager Ely Woods. “Both were decorated veterans, hard workers, and outstanding pilots. Our hearts go out to their families, friends and loved ones. We are devastated by this incredible loss.”

There is no word at this point on the suspected cause of the crash. The National Transportation Board (NTSB) is investigating the crash.

(1st REPORT, 11:34 am) A Chinook helicopter being used to fight the 23,620-acre Moose Fire northeast of Salmon, Idaho, crashed on Thursday, July 21, 2022.

Fire managers issued the following statement in their Friday morning update:

We are aware of an aircraft accident that occurred on the Moose Fire, on the Salmon-Challis National Forest. The accident is currently being investigated in coordination with Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office. Please be patient and rest assured we will provide additional updates as information is received.  

There is no word yet on the conditions of the two people who were on board the Rotak Helicopter Services helicopter when it went down.

Below is a statement issued on the Rotak Helicopter Services website:

It is with heavy hearts that we confirm that on July 21, 2022, at approximately 3:30 pm, a CH-47D Series "Chinook" Helicopter operated by ROTAK Helicopter Service with 2 people onboard was involved in an accident in the area near Salmon, ID.

According to the Lemhi County Sheriff's Office, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the crash.

We will update you if we get more information.

Moose Fire Salmon Idaho Map