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Crews on Yosemite Fire Lose Contact With Air Tanker (UPDATE: Plane Crashed, Pilot Found Dead)

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CORRECTS DATE OF PHOTO TO SUNDAY, SEPT. 14, 2014. - In this Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 photo provided by YosemiteLandscapes.com, a DC-10 drops fire retardant over a wildfire at Bass Lake, Calif. Crews attempted to get better access to two raging wildfires in California that have forced hundreds to evacuate their homes, including one near a lakeside resort that destroyed nearly two-dozen structures. (AP Photo/YosemiteLandscapes.com, Darvin Atkeson) AP Photo/YosemiteLandscapes.com, Darvin Atkeson

UPDATE, 10/8 — 1:10 a.m. ET: Cal Fire said early Wednesday morning that the pilot was found dead.

UPDATE — 9:15 p.m. ET: A Yosemite Park spokesman said the plane has crashed, but the pilot's status remains unknown.

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Oliver Darcy.

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — California fire officials say they have lost contact with an air tanker fighting a wildfire near Yosemite National Park.

In this Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 photo provided by YosemiteLandscapes.com, a DC-10 drops fire retardant over a wildfire at Bass Lake, Calif. (AP Photo/YosemiteLandscapes.com, Darvin Atkeson)

The twin-engine tanker can carry 1,200 gallons of fire retardant.

The fire began Tuesday afternoon near state Highway 140, which leads into the heart of the park. It has grown to about 130 acres and forced the evacuation of several dozen homes near the community of Foresta.

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 8.49.10 PM Image source: Cal Fire

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