Humboldt Strike Team Members Unharmed After Flames Overrun and Kill Firefighter Near Them as Thomas Fire Continues to Consume New Ground

Smoke from the Thomas Fire towers over homes today in Ventura County

Smoke from the Thomas Fire towers over homes today in Ventura County. [Photo from the VCFD Twitter account]

One San Diego firefighter has died today as flames from the monstrous Thomas Fire spotted and made a run today near Fillmore in Ventura County. The firefighter, a Cal Fire engineer from San Diego, sent out a “mayday” which was heard over the radio around 10 a.m., but help was unable to reach him in time.

Our Humboldt County Strike team was very close to the incident. Diana Totten, the public information officer for Briceland Fire which is with the strike team, has been in touch with her crew. “All Humboldt County firefighters are safe,” she said. But, she added, “They were nearby.”

Totten said, “Our guys are working hard to maintain safety as they are on the line today…When we say to be safe out there, this is what we are talking about.”

The Thomas Fire is now the 4th largest fire in modern California history. It has chewed through nearly 1000 structures and damaged more.

Thomas Norris, Assistant Chief of Salmon Creek Fire who was on the line with the Humboldt Strike Team, was reached while the crew was eating lunch, tells us that the death of fellow fighter was hard. The crews, he said, have had a “very long shift today.”

Our hearts are with the family of the firefighter who died and with those who are struggling to fight back the flames where he fell.

UPDATE: Cal Fire has released the name of the firefighter who died—San Diego Fire Engineer Cory Iverson.

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20 comments

  • Sad 😞 condolences to his friends and family. thank you firefighters you are awesome! Everyday heroes!

  • Rest in peace sir thank for your service and sacrifice god bless and keep you

  • Prayers to the friends and family of this firefighter who lost his life being a Hero. Sad this has happened. R.I.P. Sir and thank you all firefighters for being Hero’s. Stay Safe out there.

  • In my younger days, I worked the fire line in wildfires. My brother is an engineer, and one of his 3 firefighter/ first responder sons is a SoCal firefighter, so this strikes home. Keeping those brave folks who run toward danger to protect the rest of us. Let this be the only loss.

  • Another sad day… That first paragraph says more than any other news report. Is it sourced or hearsay? Any word of cause from incident personnel is being deferred pending the completion of an investigation. Hopefully they will publish a Green Sheet sooner than later.

  • May Cory’s family, beloved friends and crew get all the support they need as they grieve.
    Sincere condolences to them all.
    Keeping all the crews in our hearts and prayers for safety, wisdom and the opportunity to rest when they can.

  • Condolences to friends and family. Loss of life radiates. Like a stone thrown into water. Ever widening circles. Touching more and more lives. Stay safe.

  • I have no words beyond I’m so grateful for those willing to do this work and so grieved at the loss of one of their precious lives.

  • Stay vigilant FFs

  • He left behind a pregnant wife and a two-year old daughter.

  • Is there a qualified charity to donate help to widowed spouses of deceased firefigbters and those who lost their own home to the fires?

    • Donations can be made to the Wildland Firefighters Foundation. They provide aid and support to families of firefighters protecting our homes and lives.

  • I’m so very sorry to read about this,My heartfelt condolences to his family. May God Bless you and your family 🕊 REST IN PEACE CORY

  • Blessing on everyone… very tragic.Best kinda folks you firefolk! thanks so much a thousand times!

  • To Cory’s wife and daughter, I’m so very very sorry.

  • There are a couple go fund me accounts setup. Google his name and they pop up.

    I was on the same division that day and heard/ watched everything from a distance. Crazy and tragic. RIP

  • Kym, thank you again for all you do to keep this site together.
    There is an engine and crew down there that is very, very dear to me…

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