Cal Fire says a firefighter from Utah was killed while battling an active area of the Ranch Fire within the Mendocino Complex in Lake County Monday.
The firefighter's identity has not been released at this time. This firefighter is the first reported fatality from the Mendocino Complex. Two other firefighters had previously been injured fighting the fire.
In a press conference, Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman addressed citizens who have not left mandatory evacuations areas, as well as the firefighters still on the front lines.
Allman said, "We have two areas of this fire that are under mandatory evacuations. These are very dangerous areas. We have citizens who have decided to not leave this area for whatever reason. Understand if this could happen to a firefighter, it could certainly happen to citizens. To the men an women, to the hundreds of firefighters we see everyday, we thank you. We thank you for coming to our small corner of the world and risking your life and being away from your family. Today, tomorrow, and the next year we will mourn the loss of a true hero."
Six firefighters have now died in connection with the massive wildfires in Northern California. 11 people have been killed in all.
The Mendocino Complex has now burned a total of 354,410 acres. The River Fire has burned 48,920 acres, and is now 100% contained. The Ranch Fire has burned 305,490 acres and is 59% contained.
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