Firefighter killed in the line of duty fighting Thomas Fire

Photo by Raiza Giorgi

Staff Report

Corey Iverson, a Cal Fire San Diego fire apparatus engineer, was killed in the line of duty fighting the Thomas Fire Thursday, Dec. 14. The news was confirmed by Unified Command early Thursday afternoon.

“The incident is still unfolding, but in this world of fast moving information, it is important to me that only factual information be shared. To that end, I can confirm a fatality of a CAL FIRE Engineer from the San Diego Unit has occurred. IMT 4, CAL FIRE Local 2881 and Southern Region leadership are working to support the Unit and his family, who have been notified,” stated a news release by Unified Command.

Iverson had been with Cal Fire since 2009 and is survived by his wife, Ashley, a two year old daughter and another daughter due to be born in the spring.

Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott reported the engineer’s death in a message to the department at noon.

“More details will be made available as they are confirmed. In the meantime, please join me in keeping our fallen firefighter and his loved ones in your prayers and all the responders on the front lines in your thoughts as they continue to work under extremely challenging conditions,” Pimlott wrote.

It is believed the incident occurred in the Fillmore area in Ventura County.

The Thomas Fire is now the fourth largest wildfire in California’s history as is has burned 249,500 acres as of Thursday and is 35% contained. More than 8,000 personnel are assigned to the fire.

“While we continue to process this tragic loss, we must keep our focus on the fire,” Pimlott added during a Thursday afternoon briefing.