New York Daily News: BRENTWOOD, California – A helicopter on a fire-fighting mission in central California crashed on Wednesday morning, killing the pilot, authorities said.

The doomed chopper crashed in western Fresno County during a mission to drop water on the Hills wildfire ripping through the region, according to Cal Fire.

The Bell UH-1 helicopter crashed around 10 am local time, creating a new brush fire, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately clear. The aircraft crashed about 11 miles south of the New Coalinga Municipal Airport, according to the FAA.

The pilot was the only one onboard.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will probe the crash.

The Hills fire started on Saturday and was raging across 1,500 acres on Tuesday night, according to Cal Fire.

  • Top Feature Photos: Fires alight the brush in Brentwood, California on Monday – JOSE CARLOS FAJARDO/AP