Firefighter Richard Schroeder says he heard the pilot say, "Duck! We're going down!"
Another firefighter, Michael Brown, told the LA Times, "I had flashes of rotors hitting trees and we started to go down."
The loss is being strongly felt in several southern Oregon communities where the victims lived. One of the victims, David Steele, played football and graduated from Ashland Senior High School just last year.
"He was just a good solid person, just one of the good old boys, loved being a part of our program," said Charlie Hall, Ashland High School football coach.
Two of the victims have yet to be identified and not all of the bodies have been recovered from the crash site.