Helicopter pilot killed in crash as he tried to help fight raging wildfires

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A pilot has been killed after his helicopter crashed while he tried to battle wildfires raging across the American state of California.

Authorities say the pilot was the only person on board the aircraft, which was dropping water on the blaze below, when it crashed near the city of Coalinga, about 160 miles from San Francisco.

California, which is in the midst of a heatwave, has been hit by around 11,000 lightning strikes over the last 72 hours, which has caused over 350 fires and destroyed 50 structures.

Thousands of people living in Northern California's wine country have been forced to flee their homes.

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