Helicopter Crash Kills 9 People, Including NBA Star Kobe Bryant and Daughter | 2

Update 2 – Tuesday, January 28, 2020

A private helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76E carrying NBA Legend Kobe Bryant, 41 and his daughter, Gianna (Gigi), 13, along with six other passengers and pilot were killed when their aircraft crashed on Sunday, January 26, 2020.

The first due Engine (LACoFD) 125 arrived on-scene to report there were an unknown number of injuries and the aircraft’s fuselage on fire.  This spread into nearby brush, causing a .25 acre fire.  Both the fuselage and the brush fire were quickly put out.

“Today, Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Jennifer Homendy from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), provided updates on the crash investigation.

Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner has identified four of the victims from the crash as Kobe Bryant, John Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Ara Zobayan.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to their families.

As of today, we have lifted all road closures, which were previously intact. This includes Las Virgenes Road in its entirety, and the north and south bound exits of the 101 freeway.

The crash site is now a hazmat scene, our security detail will remain intact and it is still a misdemeanor crime to access the site. It continues to be patrolled by deputy personnel, who are utilizing ATVs and horseback to navigate their way around the rugged terrain.

We ask that people stay out of these areas until the hazmat clean-up is complete and has been re-opened to the public. – LA County Sheriff’s Office. 1/28/2020. Released 2040 PST.

Photo Credit:  LASD


When word began to spread like wildfire across Social Media with tributes to the great mega star, the Sheriff’s Office was disappointed and found it to be disrespectful by having multiple news outlets already announcing his death before the Medical Examiner had a a chance to recover the victims and made notifications to their next-of-kin.

The story broke of one person on the flight but later confirmed by his son, he was not on the aircraft and was alive and well.

The internet was lit on fire and it seemed like this story broke the internet.  It has been slowly recoverying even throughout today, it has been very slow.

We chose to delay reporting the identities until the Sheriff’s Office released that information and for out of respect to their families.

“We are saddened by their deaths and continue to keep their families and friends in our thoughts and prayers. “

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 2100 hours PST






Helicopter Down | MCI | Calabasas, California | 1

Update 1 – Sunday – January 26, 2020

The Los County Sheriff’s Office received reports at 1000 hours of a downed aircraft on the hillside at Las Virgenes Road and Willow Glen Street in Calabasas.  Deputies from the Malibu area were immediately on-scene. Unknown injuries. (1014)

LA County FD’s Engine 125 arrived on-scene of a helicopter down with an unknown number of injuries.  At the same time, it was reported the fuselage was on fire and contained possible magnesium. (1025)

Photo Credit:  LASD


The aircraft has been identified as a Sikorsky S-76E (helicopter) via aircraft data plate recovered on scene.

The fire was stopped and it was reported there were five fatalies with no survivors. (1035)

Photo Credit: LASD


The LA County PIO released a statement to news media around 1130 hours:

“Bikers were in the area and saw a helicopter in distress and called it in. It hit the side of the mountainside, which is away from the main roadway and firefighters had to lay a couple hundred feet of hose.  There was some magnesium and they were working to put the fire out.   We don’t know who is on board or where they were coming from or going to.  The NTSB is investigating the crash.”

Battalion 5 assumed command as “Willow IC”.   Officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is also assisting on-scene. (1136)

Photo Credit:


Social media began reporting NBA Star Kobe Bryant, 41 and his daughter, Giggi, 14 were on his private helicopter along with several unknown parties.  We have been trying to find verified sources reporting this but due to the popularity of this story, it seems the internet is broken including Twitter.

Lots of messages being sent to his wife, Vanessa Bryant.  It is being said he is survived by his wife and four daughters.  We are waiting for the official cause of the accident but some are speculating adverse weather conditions.

We will provide updates as soon as we receive further information.

The LA County Sheriff’s Office will be releasing their presser today at 1400 hours PST at the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station located at 27050 Agoura Raod in Calabasas, California.  This will also include LA County Fire Department’s Chief Osby, along with additional authorities.

Posted 1325 hours PDT

Sherwood Wildfire | Ventura Co CA | July 13 | Update 1


A single acre brush fire turned wildfire is burning SW of Thousand Oaks, near Westlake Village, California.  Multiple fire resources from air and ground are on-scene with the mutual assistance of several agencies.

Fire behavior is very active, spotting across lines on the right flank.


The fire is located approximately SW of Thousand Oaks (CA), near Westlake Village.


1512 Hours (3:12pm)

VCFD responded to a brush fire, reportedly as a single acre with light to medium brush and light winds.

1612 Hours (4:12pm)

Many resources were called in bringing in 233 Firefighters on the fire ground fighting fire, while others were en route.  In transit were 4 Air Tankers, 12 handcrews, 16 engines, 2 dozers and 2 copters.

Reports of those on Social Media stated smoke could be seen in the largest portion of the East Ventura County.

1645 Hours (4:45pm)

Mutual aid resources from VCFD, Ventura County Sheriffs Office (VCSO) and Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) were either on – scene or en route to the incident.

1745 Hours (5:45pm)

The first tankers were reportedly on-scene along with additional resources – COPT15 and BC44 (LACoFD) responding.  One user tweeted there were two CALFire S-2Ts flying over the fire assisting.   A VCFD strike team was also said to be on the way.

1807 Hours (6:07pm)

Fire crews were attacking the South side of the fire.  There was low intensity near structures as it was commended to those for keeping a defensible space around their homes.  Good progress was being made from air resources.

1836 Hours (6:36pm)

A web cam shows a strong inversion keeping the area socked by smoke from this wildfire.

A webcam shows the area of Westlake Village. (Credit: CALTrans)

1850 Hours (6:50pm)

The Incident Coooperators for wildfire are the VCFD, VCSO, Red Cross Ventura, CALFire and Ventura County Animal Services.

1855 Hours (6:55pm)

Per VCFD’s PIO states there are 4 helicopters; 2 LA Co FD and 2 from VCFD along 2 fixed wing Airtankers on scene.  There is a DC10 en route.  They do not expect any homes to be damaged.  There is currently 0% containment at this time but fire crews are making good progress.

1920 Hours (7:20pm)

The fire has now scorched 78 acres and is still at a zero containment.  No word on the cause is known.


VCFD is asking that all drivers and those in nearby to avoid the Potrero Road area due to a road closure between Westlake Blvd and Lake Sherwood Drive (road closed).  Emergency vehicles are only allowed in the area.


We are using the following Hashtags for this:  #SherwoodFire #CaWildfires2016 #USWildfiresCA

(c) 2016 The #NWFireBlog