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Helicopter Pilot Killed In Crash While Fighting Wildfire Near Payson


Authorities say a pilot is dead after a helicopter he was flying crashed yesterday while fighting a wildfire near Payson.

Bryan Boatman was a resident of Glendale and was the only person aboard the aircraft when it went down Tuesday under unknown circumstances in Gila County. He was 37 years old and is survived by his wife and 8-year-old child. Federal officials are investigating the crash. Governor Doug Ducey has ordered flag at half staff today in Boatman’s honor.

The Polles Fire was ignited by lightning last week on the Tonto National Forest 11 miles west of Payson on the Tonto National Forest. It remains at about 580 acres in size.

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