Reports of plane crash near Otis unfounded - KPTV - FOX 12

Reports of plane crash near Otis unfounded

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A series of 911 calls set off a frantic search for plane crash wreckage near Lincoln City on Tuesday night, but firefighters and Coast Guard officials soon determined there was no downed plane.

A 911 caller first reported seeing a flaming object fall from the sky and crash into a hillside in Otis at about 5:30 p.m. Several other 911 callers said they saw a fire on the hillside, leading sheriff's deputies and firefighters to respond.

Because of inclement weather, darkness, heavy vegetation and steep terrain, fire crews found it difficult to reach the burning hillside.

Oregon State Police and a Coast Guard helicopter crew soon joined the search and helped find the exact location of the fire.

Firefighters said they soon determined it was a slash burn, which is a technique used to create fields, and that no plane had crashed. Officials with the Coast Guard also assured FOX 12 that there have been no reports of unaccounted for planes in the area.

Lincoln County deputies said the person who initially called 911 likely saw the initial ignition of the slash burn, and that the low-lying fog pockets resulted in an incorrect perception of a crashing object.

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