CALIENTE —Two pilots were killed in a mid-air collision involving two Department of the Interior-contracted Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) while working on the Bishop Fire, approximately 17 miles southwest of Caliente, according to a statement from the Bureau of Land Management.
According to the statement, the incident occurred just before 1 p.m. Thursday, July 30. The BLM said it is currently working on recovery operations and making initial notifications. The incident is under investigation.
“We offer our sincere condolences to the families of the two pilots and to all those working with the BLM Nevada Ely District,” said BLM Nevada State Director Jon Raby.
SEATs are small airplanes used to support firefighters on the ground. They can deliver up to 800 gallons of fire retardant and operate in areas where larger air tankers cannot. The BLM works with contract pilots for much of its wildland firefighting efforts.