A volunteer firefighter has lost his life attempting to help tackle the wildfires currently raging through California.
As per reports, California’s governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency after 367 fires were ignited through a combination of soaring temperatures and severe thunderstorms. Of those 367, 23 are said to be major blazes.
The area has reportedly seen over 10,000 lightning strikes over the past few days, a culmination of the heaviest period of thunderstorms California has seen in more than a decade.
The Mail Online say that authorities believe the fires have torn through as much as 330,000 acres of land already. The town of Vacaville – home to around 100,000 people – is said to be at particular risk, with at least 50 homes having been destroyed thus far.
In response to the blazes, firefighters have been put to work across the state. Sadly, one pilot, operating a “Call When Needed” aircraft, was attempting to disperse water over an area of land near Coalinga, but his helicopter crashed.
The unidentified man is thought to have been the only soul onboard the Bell UH-1H helicopter, and is so far the only person to have lost their life as a result of the fires.
California’s Governor Gavin Newsom told Deadline in a statement earlier this week: “We are deploying every resource available to keep communities safe as California battles fires across the state during these extreme conditions.
“California and its federal and local partners are working in lockstep to meet the challenge and remain vigilant in the face of continued dangerous weather conditions.”
Our thoughts go out to all those in the path of the California wildfires right now. I don’t know about you, but I just want 2020 to be over already.
Please share this article to show you are thinking about the people forced to evacuate their homes in the face of these blazes, and the brave volunteer firefighter who lost his life.