The massive Thomas fire, which has become the fourth largest fire in California history, having destroyed 249,500 acres, has now claimed the life of a Cal Fire engineer who was working for the department’s San Diego unit.
The lost firefighter has been identified as Cory Iverson, 32, who was killed in the line of duty Thursday morning about 9:30 a.m. local time. Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said he has been with the state agency since 2009.
Iverson is survived by his wife, Ashley, who is pregnant with their second child, and a 2-year-old daughter Evie.
“Cory and Ashley are expecting a second daughter this spring,” Pimlott said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Cory’s family and all of his friends and co-workers throughout the department and the fire service.”
Over 8,100 firefighters are battling the Thomas fire, as it spreads through national forest land that has not been burned in 50 years, CBS News reported.
Since Dec. 4, the Thomas fire has covered 379 square miles, destroyed 972 buildings, including 700 homes, and prompted the evacuation of 100,000 people as another 18,000 buildings are under dire threat from the flames. The fire is now 35 percent contained, Cal Fire department reported in a Twitter post Thursday evening.
— 100.7 KFM-BFM (@kfmbfm) December 15, 2017
Firefighter died while working a colossal wildfire burning in coastal mountains northwest of Los Angeles that has become the fourth largest in California history https://t.co/R1lMEvBt1X pic.twitter.com/Ihwpmuvzwp
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 14, 2017
— KEYT NewsChannel 3 (@KEYTNC3) December 15, 2017
#BREAKING: Firefighter killed in #ThomasFire has been identified as Cory Iverson, a #CalFire Fire Apparatus Engineer who was from the San Diego area. A procession is happening now for him. https://t.co/PuXzoHmdxj pic.twitter.com/vpz6NSLgXP
— #NBC7 San Diego (@nbcsandiego) December 15, 2017
— VCFD PIO (@VCFD_PIO) December 14, 2017
A firefighter was killed Thursday in the rapidly growing #ThomasFire in southern California. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued as the blaze continues to rage, fueled by dry conditions and Santa Ana winds. pic.twitter.com/qmBdYxndnS
— The Weather Network (@weathernetwork) December 15, 2017
— San Diego Sheriff (@SDSheriff) December 14, 2017
I am very saddened to report that a firefighter fatality has occurred on the Thomas Incident. Please join me in keeping our fallen firefighter and his loved ones in your prayers. – @CALFIRE_CHIEF https://t.co/lJjvOddchS pic.twitter.com/zylqSlsj3K
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) December 14, 2017
#ThomasFire [update] Hwy 150 and Hwy 126, north of Santa Paula (Ventura County) is now 249,500 acres and 35% contained. Unified Command: CAL FIRE, @VCFD_PIO, @LosPadresNF, and @VenturaCityFD. https://t.co/vfLtDXYjzO pic.twitter.com/w7yTdyKo5f
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) December 15, 2017
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