Pilot OK after water bomber crashes in Puntzi Lake

WATCH: More proof that firefighters put their lives and safety on the line battling forest fires, as a water bomber crashed into Puntzi Lake. Nadia Stewart has the details.

An Air Tractor AT-802F Fire Boss amphibious airtanker has crashed while scooping water from Puntzi lake this afternoon.

Bill Yearwood with Transportation Safety Board says the pilot escaped and is OK.

It happened around 2:15 when the Conair plane ran into some trouble on the lake and crashed.

The aircraft has now sunk and Yearwood says it will be some time before it will be retrieved if they need to examine it.

“We are standing by to get more information from the pilot,” he says. “From that, we will decide if it is necessary to attend the site.

It is not clear what caused the crash.

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“We are quite familiar with the aircraft and its operation and there is no information to suggest there’s been any problems in advance of this,” says Yearwood.

READ MORE: Full Fire Watch BC coverage

The pilot was a 46-year male. He has seven years of flying experiencing, including four years with Conair.

The wildfire is on the west side of Puntzi Lake, about 130 kilometres west of Williams Lake. It is about 1,200 hectares in size and is zero per cent contained.

Seventy-six firefighters, three helicopters, eight pieces of heavy equipment and four airtankers are in the area fighting the blaze.

There are an Evacuation Order and an Evacuation Alert currently in place for the area.

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