- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A Montana man was the only survivor of the crash of a helicopter that was monitoring a controlled burn in Mississippi.

Helena National Forest officials say Brendan Mullen of Helena was critically injured in Monday’s crash. Forest spokeswoman Kathy Bushnell said Wednesday that Mullen was being treated at a hospital in Mobile, Alabama, and his condition had been upgraded to serious.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash that killed the pilot, 40-year-old Brandon Ricks of Blanchard, Oklahoma, and 55-year-old Forest Service employee Steven W. Cobbs of Wiggins, Mississippi. Neither man was able to get out of the helicopter after it caught fire.

Mullen is the assistant helitack program manager with the Helena National Forest and had been assigned to help monitor the controlled burn in the DeSoto National Forest.

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