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In brief: Pilot dies in crash fighting wildfire near Yosemite

From wire reports

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. – An air tanker fighting a wildfire on the edge of Yosemite National Park in Northern California smashed into a steep canyon wall Tuesday, killing the pilot who was believed to be the only person aboard, officials said.

Rescue crews hiking through extremely rugged terrain found the wreckage and confirmed the pilot’s death several hours after the plane crashed, said Alyssa Smith, spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The pilot’s family has requested no name be released until all immediate family members can be notified, Smith said.

The plane went down about 4:30 p.m. within a mile of the park’s west entrance, Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman said.

Dog at risk of Ebola may be euthanized

Ebola’s victims may include a dog named Excalibur. Officials in Madrid got a court order to euthanize the pet of a Spanish nursing assistant with Ebola because of the chance the animal might spread the disease.

At least one major study suggests that dogs can be infected with the deadly virus without having symptoms. But whether or how likely they are to spread it to people is less clear.

Lab experiments on other animals suggest their urine, saliva or stool might contain the virus. That means that in theory, people might catch it through an infected dog licking or biting them, or from grooming.

“Clearly we want to look at all possibilities. We have not identified this as a means of transmission,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The nursing assistant and her husband have been in isolation since she tested positive for Ebola earlier this week. She was part of team at a Madrid hospital that cared for a missionary priest who died of Ebola.

The Madrid regional government got a court order to euthanize their dog, saying “available scientific information” can’t rule out it could spread the virus.

In Dallas, health officials are monitoring 48 people who may have had contact with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, but “we are not monitoring any animals at this time,” said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services.

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