Firefighter killed battling Thomas fire as massive blaze moves toward Santa Barbara


Firefighter killed battling Thomas fire as massive blaze moves toward Santa Barbara

An accident review team will be looking at the situation that led to the fatality, which occurred in the Fillmore area Thursday morning.

State Fire Chief Ken Pimlott says Cory Iverson was an engineer based in San Diego.

The fire now raging in Ventura County (the Thomas fire) and the one in foothill neighborhoods around Sylmar in the San Fernando Valley (the Creek fire) are breathtaking in two ways: the sheer power of wind-driven wildfire to devour landscape, whether it hold scrub brush or mansions, and the fragility of human life in the face of it. He is survived by his wife, Ashley, and their 2-year-old daughter Evie.

Cory Iverson, 32, was an engineer with Cal Fire's San Diego Unit. The other firefighters on the strike team were pulled off the fire lines. A retiring corrections officer warned firefighters not to become complacent during this incident, and said that should they find themselves relaxing, they should think about their colleagues who have been injured or lost their lives in seemingly low-risk situations. Tolmachoff said Cal Fire considers her death to be fire-related. Iverson and a 70-year-old Santa Paula woman who was found in a vehicle in the burn area are the fire's two fatalities.

Some evacuations were lifted in areas where the fire had long since passed.

Dozens of firetrucks and firefighters were on the property ready to go to work if the wind pushes flames toward the historic property.

"It all depends on winds and weather conditions", Sandstrom said.

Crews battled shifting winds and hard terrain on Friday to stop a mammoth wildfire that has burned for almost two weeks along the scenic California coastline, killing a firefighter and destroying more than 720 homes. Conditions were forecast to remain windy well into next week across the region.

The blaze has so far destroyed more than 700 single-family houses, some 200 other buildings and damaged many others. With a two-day lull in the winds this week the fire was reduced to 35 percent containment, but expected wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour on Friday evening will create the potential for rapid spread of the fire, KSBY-TV, San Luis Obispo, reported. "We ask that everyone take a minute to keep the entire Iverson family and friends in your thoughts and prayers", Cal Fire posted on December 14.

Iverson had a passion for firefighting, Cal Fire spokesman Jon Heggie told the newspaper.