CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. â€” Two personnel are dead Monday after a helicopter crashed during a training exercise in the Marine base, sparking a fire that has grown to more than 100 acres, officials said.
The incident involved an AH-1W Cobra when it went down at about 1 p.m. PDT in Camp Pendleton, according to a statement released by the Marine Corps Air Station.
Military officials did not release details of how the crash occurred, but referred to the incident as a â€œmishapâ€ during a training exercise in the southeast corner of the base, near Fallbrook.
Two personnel were aboard the craft when the crash occurred, said Cpl. Steven Posy, with the Miramar Corps Air State public affairs office. Officials described them as a pilot and co-pilot, but have not identified them.
The helicopter belonged to the third Marine Aircraft Wing.
Camp Pendletonâ€™s fire department and paramedics responded to the incident, he said.
The crash sparked a wild land fire that grew to about 120 acres by early Monday evening, authorities said.
Authorities say the fire is about 80 percent contained, and is not expected to move beyond the base property.
The Camp Pendleton Fire Department, along with units from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, are fighting the blaze with the assistance of four air tankers, four helicopter tankers, three strike teams and four hand crews.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.