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Helicopter pilot dies in crash fighting California wildfires

Christian Fernsby |
A helicopter pilot died in a crash while fighting one of hundreds of wildfires raging in California after lightning storms.

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The west coast state was hit by nearly 11,000 lightning strikes in 72 hours, sparking 367 fires, from Tuesday.

While over 50 structures were destroyed in northern California's wine country where thousands fled their homes, authorities said.

In the central region of the state, a helicopter was on a water dropping mission in Fresno County when the aircraft crashed, Mirror reported.

The pilot, who was the only person on board, was killed, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement.

To the north of San Francisco, a group of fires covering over 46,000 acres near the city of Vacaville raced through hills and mountains, destroying 50 homes and other structures.

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