A firefighter has died while battling the El Dorado fire, a blaze that has rolled through 19,000-plus acres and was apparently started by a smoke bomb ignited during a gender-reveal photo shoot in Yucaipa, U.S. Forest Service announced Friday morning.
The firefighter’s name was not immediately released, nor were details on how he died but authorities did say on Friday, Sept. 18, it happened on Thursday.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the family, friends and fellow firefighters during this time,” the San Bernardino National Forest posted on Twitter.
Authorities did not release the agency or position of the firefighter though said more details would be released.
USDA Forest Service officials on the San Bernardino National Forest have confirmed the death of a firefighter on the #ElDoradoFire. The incident took place on Thursday, September 17, 2020. The name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. pic.twitter.com/61XX1SBpmH
— San Bernardino National Forest (@SanBernardinoNF) September 18, 2020
On Thursday night, air crews began searching for a missing “hotshot” near Pinezanita, according to a SoCal Air Operations’ Twitter page. Hotshots are specially trained firefighters who often battle blazes in remote regions.
#ElDoradoFire *SEARCH AND RESCUE* Law Enforcement and Fire crews are currently searching for a MISSING HOT SHOT near Pinezanita. CHP and SBCoSD Copters are overhead assisting with the search. Air Attack 51 is also overhead attempting to call the individuals cell phone. pic.twitter.com/z4zxVlSruI
— SoCal Air Operations (@SocalAirOps) September 18, 2020
The fire has been burning in the San Bernardino National Forest since Sept. 5, when, authorities say, the pyrotechnic was set off at a Yucaipa park.
As of Thursday evening, the fire was at 19,098 acres and 66% contained. Containment is the percentage of the perimeter where the blaze has been stopped.
El Dorado’s footprint grew but remained largely outside of populated areas.The fire burned mostly along Highway 38 near Angelus Oaks, which was evacuated.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Source: Orange County Register