The New Zealand-born pilot of a waterbombing helicopter that crashed near Ulladulla on the NSW South Coast, has died.
Ambulance paramedics responded to reports of the crash at Woodstock in the Shoalhaven Area, after a triple-0 call at 2.15pm.
NSW Police confirmed the pilot, the only person on board, died in the crash after the helicopter hit a tree.
He has been identified as Allan Tull, an experienced pilot who had previously helped battle fires in Tasmania in January 2016, the ABC reported.
Tull's Facebook page says that he went to Kerikeri High School.
"Police arrived and located the aircraft wreckage. The male pilot and sole occupant was located deceased," a police media statement said.
"A crime scene has been established which will be forensically examined."3
The helicopter crash occurred about 2.10pm near Ulladulla, where multiple aircraft have been helping ground crews fight the 1700-hectare Kingiman bushfire for several days.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian extended her condolences to the pilot's family in a tweet this afternoon.
"I am deeply saddened by the death of a helicopter pilot while fighting fires near Ulladulla today," she said. "My thoughts and prayers are with the pilot's family and our brave emergency service personnel."
Four officers from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau were sent from Canberra and Brisbane to begin an investigation, according to the ABC.
"This will include the examination of the wreckage, interviewing witnesses, and obtaining any available recorded data for analysis, among other activities," a spokesman said in a statement.
"The evidence collection phase will define the size and scope of the investigation and determine the expected time frame for the completion of a final report."
NSW Police Force will prepare a report for the Coroner.
The NSW Rural Fire Service helicopter, a 1994 Kawasaki BK117, had been contracted by the Rural Fire Service to fight fires and was working on the Kingiman fire when it crashed.
The helicopter has been registered to Sydney Helicopters since May 2015.
Significant resources from emergency services including a rescue helicopter were dispatched to the area, a NSW Police spokesman said.
It's understood nearby naval base HMAS Albatross is also providing assistance.
The Daily Telegraph reported that residents in Hobbs Lane and nearby Evans Lane had been evacuated in recent days by fire crews working to control a 1600 hectare fire at Kingiman.
On Wednesday, those living west of Burrill Lake and along Woodstock Road were urged to have their bush fire survival plan ready as firefighters continued to battle the Kingiman fire.
Woodstock residents were told to seek shelter in solid structures as it was too late for them to safely evacuate.