Reports: C-130 crashes during firefighting mission in South Dakota

The plane, attached to Northern Command, was conducting a fire suppression mission in the White Draw section of the Black Hills National Forest in the western part of the state when it went down, Stars and Stripes reported on Sunday. 

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A rescue helicopter was able to reach the crash site and transported three crew members from the scene to a local hospital, according to local reports. 

The cause of the crash is still unknown as service investigators are just beginning to piece together the circumstances surrounding the incident. It remains unclear whether any of the plane's crew were killed in the accident. 

Service aircraft are continuing to fly fire suppression missions in the area despite the crash. Neither Air Force nor command officials have provided any more information on the crash or on efforts to determine the cause of the incident. 

Active duty Air Force elements from Northern Command, as well as local Guard and Reserve units, were activated late last week to help combat wildfires sweeping across Colorado and the Dakotas. 

Since then, several C-130 cargo aircraft have been outfitted with firefighting systems to help contain the fires, which so far has engulfed roughly 4,200 acres in the region. 

As of Monday, local authorities with Air Force support have contained 30 percent of the blaze, according to news reports.