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Ely District Office
Release Date: 06/03/12
Contacts: Chris Hanefeld , 775-289-1842 ,
News Release No. ELY 2012-20

Air Tanker Dropping Retardant on White Rock Fire Crashes, Two Killed

A Forest Service-contracted P-2V heavy air tanker dropping retardant on the White Rock Fire crashed in the Hamblin Valley area of western Utah shortly before 1 p.m., today.  Both crewmembers were killed.  Their names have not been released.

The cause of the crash is unknown.  The Iron County Sheriff’s Office has responded and emergency response teams and an investigation accident team are en route.  The P-2V is owned by Neptune Aviation Services, of Missoula, Mont.

The lightning-ignited White Rock Fire was first reported shortly before 10 p.m., Friday, in Lincoln County, Nev., about 25 miles northeast of Caliente.  By Saturday evening, the fire had grown to nearly 5,000 acres and crossed the state line into Iron County, Utah.

The fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain dominated by pinion-pine and juniper trees, sagebrush and grasses.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District is fully suppressing the fire to protect sage-grouse and other wildlife habitat, and for firefighter and public safety.  Full containment is expected by Saturday evening, June 9.

For fire information, contact Chris Hanefeld, BLM Ely District fire information officer, at (775) 289-1842 or

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

Ely District Office   702 N. Industrial Way      Ely, NV 89301  

Last updated: 06-19-2012