An air tanker carrying contract firefighters originating from United States combating the Australian wildfire crashed resulting in the death of at least three.

Communications between ground officials and the air tanker plane, a C-150 Hercules, went radio silent around 13:30hrs in Australian local time.

The tanker crashed on the snowy mountain area of New South Wales moments after taking off, however it is unclear what caused the accident.

Reports confirm the plane was operated by a Canadian company, who had provided confirmation the tanker was carrying all US firefighters. However, details on the identities of the demised have not been disclosed.

Meanwhile the tanker has been temporarily decomissioned from operations until further investigation on the incident has been conducted.

The wildfire that has been spreading since September 2019 has claimed the lives of at least 33 individuals while over 2,000 trees have been burnt.

Reports estimate the blaze has spread over an approximate area of 10 million hectares.