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Pilot dies in Tasmanian bushfire helicopter crash

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A man helping fight a bushfire in north-east Tasmania has been critically injured after the fixed-wing aircraft he was flying crashed into a paddock.

Emergency services were called to Pipers Brook Road about 3.20pm on Monday.

The pilot was the only occupant of the plane, with initial investigations suggesting he was in a helicopter involved in fighting a bushfire in the Lebrina area.

“Our thoughts are also with our people and others who have been working very closely with the man involved to help fight the Lebrina fires,” Tasmania Fire Service acting deputy chief Jeff Harper said.

“We will be working with police, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and other authorities so that this incident is fully investigated.

“It is a very tragic situation, especially because it has involved someone who was working hard to fight the Lebrina fires to help our community safe.

“Understandably this is a very distressing incident for everyone involved and we will be ensuring our people have access to all available support.”

The bushfire at Lebrina, which was sparked last week when a burnoff on private property got out of hand, has burned through more than 1500 hectares.

It was at ‘advice’ level on Monday.

Police say further updates on the man’s condition will be provided “when appropriate”.

-AAP

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