STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Firefighters who died in Australia were on California tanker

Their relatives who began arriving Saturday will be offered an opportunity to visit the hillside crash site.

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 3:56 PM
Updated: Jan 24, 2020 11:15 PM

UPDATE: 11:13 p.m., Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 - The bodies of three Americans who died when a water-bombing plane crashed while battling Australia’s unprecedented wildfire crisis have been retrieved as their families arrive in Sydney.

The firefighters died when their C-130 Hercules tanker crashed on Thursday after dumping fire retardant on an out-of-control blaze northeast of the town of Cooma in southern New South Wales state.

Courtesy: Coulson Aviation

A police statement says their bodies were retrieved from a still-active fire zone. They were taken to Sydney.

Their relatives who began arriving Saturday will be offered an opportunity to visit the hillside crash site.

---

UPDATE: 6:47 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 - The firefighters killed in Australia were from Montana, Arizona and Florida.

Coulson Aviation says 44-year-old Captain Ian H. McBeth of Montana leaves behind his wife, three kids, parents and three siblings.

McBeth spent his whole career flying C-130's and was a highly qualified and respected pilot who loved his family, according to Coulson Aviation. They also shared in 2018 he earned his initial attack qualification.

In addition to serving with Coulson Aviation, he also served in the military and was previously a member of the Wyoming Air National Gaurd before becoming a member of the Montana Air National Gaurd.

From Arizona, First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson was 42-years-old and is survived by his wife.

Since graduating from the Naval Academy in 1999, the Coulson Aviation says Hudson spent the last twenty years serving in the United States Marine Corp including the position of C-130 pilot.

Hudson retired as a Lt. Colonel and received multiple decorations during his career. The Coulson Aviation shared he also had a Masters in both Business Administration and Information Technology Management from the Naval Postgraduate  School.

Flight Engineer Rick A DeMorgan Jr. was from Florida and is survived by his two children, parents and sister.

The 43-year-old was a flight engineer on the C-130 for 18 years while he served in the U.S. Air Force.

Coulson Aviation says DeMorgan had thousands of hours as a flight engineer and thousands of hours in a combat environment. They also shared he had a passion for his children and flying.

---

SACRAMENTO, Calif (AP) - California's governor says the three American flight crew members who died when their aerial water tanker crashed while battling wildfires in southeastern Australia were part of a crew on a California-based tanker.

Gov. Gavin Newsom in a statement on Thursday did not identify the crew members but called them heroes.

ORIGINAL STORY: Three Americans dead after firefighting water bomber crashes in rural Australia

The premier of Australia's New South Wales state confirmed the crash deaths in the Snowy Monaro region as Australia attempts to deal with an unprecedented fire season that has left a large swath of destruction.

Canada-based Coulson Aviation says one of its Lockheed large air tankers was lost after it left Richmond in New South Wales with retardant for a firebombing mission.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1171802

Reported Deaths: 19025
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3832757580
San Bernardino884691129
Riverside850771434
San Diego75307988
Orange731521559
Kern39990448
Fresno37349477
Sacramento35739566
Santa Clara32454476
Alameda28378502
San Joaquin25675502
Contra Costa23381260
Stanislaus21145422
Tulare20550308
Ventura18914175
Imperial15725356
San Francisco15053160
Monterey14695116
San Mateo13707170
Sonoma11846157
Merced11537179
Santa Barbara11205135
Kings1044087
Solano1003681
Marin7628129
Placer622468
Madera604785
San Luis Obispo595635
Shasta460147
Yolo456174
Santa Cruz420228
Butte385359
Sutter314415
Napa294517
El Dorado21544
Yuba198110
San Benito181316
Lassen17733
Tehama158725
Mendocino148522
Nevada11839
Tuolumne9088
Glenn8918
Lake88619
Humboldt8199
Colusa6946
Siskiyou6242
Mono5243
Amador48416
Calaveras47522
Del Norte3131
Inyo29016
Plumas2050
Trinity1390
Mariposa1262
Modoc1220
Alpine470
Sierra190
Unassigned00
Chico
Scattered Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 59°
Oroville
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 60°
Paradise
Scattered Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 59°
Chester
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 49°
Red Bluff
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 62°
Willows
Scattered Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 59°
Frosty mornings are in the forecast through the weekend with highs every day in the mid-to-low 60s and sunny to mostly sunny skies.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events