A SPANISH firefighter is in a critical condition after a plane crash during a Portuguese-Spanish joint fire-fighting operation.

The accident also claimed the life of the Portuguese pilot.

The accident occured last on the border between northern Spain and Portugal in the Peneda-Geres National Park.

The Canadair CL-215 was taking water from the Alto do Lindoso Dam in Spanish territory when it got into difficulties and crashed into a nearby hillside.

Despite immediate emergency medical treatment, the 65-year-old Portuguese pilot succumbed to his injuries at the scene.

TRAGEDY: Rescue workers attend to the stricken aircraft

The 39-year-old Spanish co-pilot was treated at the crash site and was transferred to the nearby Viana do Castelo Hospital where he remains in a critical condition.

The Canadair CL-215 is Spain and Portugal’s primary fire fighting aircraft and works alongside Spain’s Air Force to create airbourne support to their fire fighting efforts.

An aging aircraft, the CL-215 first entered service in Spain in 1971 and since then is slowly being replaced by the heavily upgraded CL-415.

Spain currently operates 14 CL-215 aircraft and 3 CL-415s.

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