SEDONA, AZ - Rescue crews recovered four bodies from the Coconino County National Forest Monday after a small plane crashed the night before, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.
The bodies were extracted around 1 p.m. Monday using a DPS helicopter, said Charlie Armiger, spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.
He said the bodies would be airlifted to a safe zone and then transported to the Medical Examiner's Office.
The names of the victims have not been released pending positive identification from the Medical Examiner's Office, said D'Evelyn. This "could take some time," he said.
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are on site to determine what caused the plane to crash.
Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said it is believed the plane was a Cessna 182. He said the aircraft's intended route is not known.
Hikers reported seeing a low-flying plane go over a ridge and disappear Sunday, followed by the sound of a crash and smoke rising from a canyon, said D'Evelyn.
The crash sparked a wildfire, now named the Fay Fire, inside the Fay Canyon Trail, near Bear Mountain.
The fire has burned approximately 25-30 acres and is zero percent contained.