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Firefighter fatality reported at huge California wildfire

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — A firefighter died Thursday while working a colossal wildfire burning in coastal mountains northwest of Los Angeles that has become the fourth largest in California history.

The death, but no details of the circumstances, was confirmed in a statement from Chief Ken Pimlott of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

‘‘The incident is still unfolding, but in this world of fast-moving information it is important to me that only actual information be shared,’’ he said.

The firefighter was identified only as a Cal Fire engineer from a San Diego unit. Pimlott said his family was notified.


It was the second death linked to the fire. A 70-year-old woman was killed in a car crash while evacuating as the fire raged last week. Her body was found inside the wrecked car along an evacuation route.

A return of Santa Ana winds brought renewed activity to inland portions of the so-called Thomas Fire in coastal Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.