UPDATE: Pilot killed as firefighting helicopter makes forced landing at Cape Point

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Fire fighting helicopters dump water on a fire in the Cape Point Reserve part of the World Heritage site Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town, South Africa, 06 March 2015.

View our interactive timeline on the ongoing Cape Town fires here.

CAPE TOWN - One of the country&39;s top helicopter rescue pilots has died while on duty fighting fires at Cape Point in the Western Cape.

The pilot - who has been identified as Bees Marais - was forced into a hard landing at Cape Point earlier on Sunday.

He was flying a Bell 212 &39;Working On Fire&39; helicopter.

Initial reports suggested he was injured and that an air ambulance had been dispatched.  

Later, a Tweet by ER24 in Cape Town confirmed he had passed away.

There has been a fire flareup in the area and the crash is said to have taken place at around 11am.

 

Press Release - Hendrik Marais

 

Mayor de Lille Extends Condolences to the Family of Willem (Bees) Marais