First Firefighter dies in line of duty in Northern California Fire

Jul 31, 2015 11:28 PM by Debbie Cobb

A North State fire has claimed the life of a firefighter. The U.S. Forest Service firefighter died while battling the so called 'Frog Fire' in Modoc County.

David "Dave" Ruhl of Rapid City, South Dakota died last night while on the fire lines, but his body was not found by search and rescue until this morning.

The fire is burning northwest of Adin. Ruhl was on temporary assignment to the Big Valley Ranger District of the Modoc National Forest as an Assistant Fire Management Officer since June 14. His permanent position is Engine Captain on the Mystic Ranger District of the Black Hills National Forest in Rapid City.

The Forest Service is investigating this line-of-duty death. "This loss of life is tragic and heartbreaking," said Forest Supervisor, Amanda McAdams. "Please keep the family and all of our Forest Service employees in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

The Frog Fire southeast of Lava Camp on the Big Valley Ranger District started yesterday afternoon, was showing active fire behavior and growing to more than 800 acres by this evening with active spotting ahead of the fire front.

Northern California Team 1 is expected to take over management of the fire tomorrow morning.


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