SAN DIEGO (AP) — Fire officials say a state firefighter who died battling the largest wildfire recorded in California's modern history was putting out a spot fire when he found himself trapped by the flames.
A preliminary report by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection found 32-year-old Cory Iverson died battling the Thomas Fire last month in Ventura County after becoming trapped in a dead-end gulch.
Cal Fire says in the report released Tuesday to the San Diego Union Tribune that Iverson was surrounded by spot fires in windy conditions.
It says Iverson and four other firefighters were laying hose along a bulldozer-created fire break when they turned their attention to a spot fire flared up about 20 feet deep. More spot fires broke out almost simultaneously, cutting off his escape route.
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