Water drop hits hotshot crew fighting Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire

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Three firefighters working to contain the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire were injured by a water drop from air support over the weekend.

According to a Bureau of Land Management report, thousands of gallons of water were accidentally dropped on the Vale Interagency Hotshot crew when a helicopter missed their drop zone target Sunday.

The crew was working to hold the fire line on the west end of the fire, in the south zone.

Two of the firefighters who were injured were treated and released from a Santa Fe hospital. A third crew member was severely injured and rushed to an Albuquerque hospital. He reportedly had to undergo multiple surgeries to repair a fractured skull and a broken kneecap. As of Wednesday, he is still in the hospital.

Fire officials said they will continue to use air support to fight the fire.

“It’s an option we will use as needed to get the aircraft up to continue the water-dropping missions,” South Section Operations Chief John Chester said in Thursday’s online fire briefing.

BLM Spokesperson Allison Sandoval told KOB 4 the incident is still under investigation.