by KATU Staff
TILLAMOOK COUNTY, Ore. — Tillamook County authorities say a helicopter crashed in a remote part of the county late Wednesday morning, sparking a small fire in the process.
The crash was reported around 11 a.m. in the area of South Fork Road and Simmons Ridge Road. According to the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office, only the pilot was on board when the helicopter went down. He survived the crash and appeared uninjured, refusing medical attention at the scene, said authorities.
Investigators believe that the helicopter struck a power line, causing the crash. According to the sheriff’s office, the helicopter was spraying vegetation along the route of the power lines and towers when the tail rotor may have clipped a line.
“There is a power line down and a small fire burning at the crash site,” said Sheriff Brown in a statement on the incident Wednesday afternoon. “Bonneville Power is responding and they have advised responders to stay away until they arrive because the high voltage line is extremely dangerous.”
Authorities said it is unknown if the downed power line will cause an outage for any customers.
Crews with the Oregon Department of Forestry responded to extinguish the fire.
Several local agencies were also called out to the crash, including Oregon State Police, however, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be the lead agency for the crash investigation, said the sheriff’s office. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is also inquiring about the crash.
Tillamook County authorities noted that “the owner of the helicopter is unknown at this time.”