Helicopter crashes fighting NSW bushfires, killing pilot

A firefighting helicopter has crashed on the NSW South Coast, killing the pilot. No one else was on board.

The helicopter crashed near Ulladulla just after 2pm on Friday, a Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman said. 

A 1700-hectare bushfire is burning in the area but it is unknown if the helicopter was battling the blaze when it crashed. 

A firefighting helicopter has crashed on the NSW South Coast while fighting fires near Ulladulla. Source: AAP (File pic)

The helicopter is a 1994 Kawasaki BK117 which has been registered to Sydney Helicopters since May 2015. 

A spokesman for the company said they were still working to gather information and could not confirm details of the crash. 

“Significant resources” from emergency services including a rescue helicopter have been dispatched to the area, a NSW Police spokesman said.

It’s understood nearby naval base HMAS Albatross is also providing assistance.

NSW Police said in a statement, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau will investigate the crash.

Dozens of bushfires sweep across NSW

Moderate winds and a lack of rain are expected to play havoc with dozens of unseasonable out-of-control bushfires burning throughout NSW.

Very high fire danger was predicted on Thursday for the New England, Northern Slopes and Far North Coast regions while more than 80 fires were burning overnight all along the Great Dividing Range.

Several watch-and-act messages were issued for fires in the Blue Mountains, Richmond Valley, Clarence Valley, Bega Valley, Mount Kingiman and North Nowra on Wednesday.

With AAP

A blaze near Nowra was one of 44 uncontained bushfires across NSW on Wednesday evening. Source: AAP