The U.S. Forest Service says a firefighter from California has died in a helicopter crash in the Sam Houston National Forest in Texas.

The agency says Daniel Laird was a two-decade veteran of the U.S. Forest Service. He was helping with a controlled burn when the helicopter crashed Wednesday in Montgomery County, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) north of Houston.

Authorities say Laird was killed in the crash, while two other people suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Officials say Laird was a helitack captain from Tahoe National Forest in California.

“Our hearts and condolences go out to Daniel, his family, friends, and co-workers,” Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen said in a news release. “We’re very proud of his service and commitment to the agency and our nation. Tragedies of this nature serve as a reminder of the honorable work and sacrifices made by women and men like Daniel. They daily commit themselves to supporting and protecting communities around the country.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety says the helicopter crashed Wednesday afternoon in an area of the Sam Houston National Forest near the city of Montgomery.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known. DPS says the crash took place during a controlled burn operation in the forest.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

The crash site is located about 70 miles north of Houston.

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