Tuesday, Aug. 14 — Sad news this morning to find a firefighter died in the line of duty while battling California’s biggest wildfire, the Mendocino Complex, state officials announced late Monday and as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.
State fire officials have not released his name but said he was from Utah, was injured battling the blaze on Monday, and was rushed to a hospital where he died. His was the first death in the complex fire north of Clear Lake, which has burned 349,890 acres in Colusa, Mendocino, and Lake counties and is the largest fire in California history.
The death marked the sixth firefighter killed in California wildfires this year.
The Mendocino Complex has destroyed 146 homes and damaged 118 other structures. The complex is composed of the River Fire, which is fully contained at 48,920 acres, and the 300,970-acre Ranch Fire that is 59 percent contained. The firefighter who died was on the lines of the Ranch Fire, officials said.
Among the other fires burning:
• The Carr Fire, which has burned more than 200,000 acres, became California’s sixth most destructive wildfire. It has killed eight people in addition to destroying 1,599 structures, and is 63 percent contained.
• The Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park remained steady at 96,457 acres and was 86 percent contained. Yosemite National Park will reopen the valley to the public Tuesday, Aug. 14, though services in the valley would remain limited.
On Monday, the Wawona area and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias reopened to visitors. Air quality in the area was gradually improving, with conditions listed as “moderate” in the Mariposa, Hodgdon Meadow and Lee Vining areas, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
• The Holy Fire has burned 22,986 acres in Orange and Riverside counties and was 59 percent contained.