Helicopter fighting Tasman fire crashes

Helicopters are back up in the air in Tasman after a pilot suffered injuries when he crashed while battling the blaze on Sunday.

The fire has been raging on for close to two weeks in the South Island region, and a number of aircraft have been used to help bring it under control.

The crash occurred near Eves Valley Rd in Brightwater.

Reid Helicopters confirmed the helicopter was one of its own in a statement sent to media on Sunday afternoon.

"The pilot of the flight jettisoned the monsoon bucket and made a may day call in accordance with standard operating procedures," it said.

"The helicopter made a hard landing next to a road within the fire ground. The pilot was the sole occupant and received minor injuries." 

Police and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission are investigating the incident.

Nelson Tasman Civil Defence says the pilot is "being treated for minor injuries" after crashing while fighting the fire in Pigeon Valley.

"Civil Defence Controller Roger Ball says the pilot is out of the helicopter and receiving treatment for non-life threatening injuries," a statement on their Facebook page read.

"Our thoughts are with the pilot and his family at this time."

The Fire Controller for Fire and Emergency New Zealand says all air operations have been halted until further notice.

St John confirms that it has "attended an aviation incident" in Eves Valley.

No ambulances attended the incident, but one patient has been transported to Nelson Hospital after suffering moderate injuries.


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