An eighth person has died in relation to the Carr Fire, Cal Fire said Thursday morning.
A Cal Fire heavy equipment mechanic from Cal Fire’s Butte County unit, who had been assigned to the Carr Fire, was killed early Thursday morning in a traffic accident on Highway 99 in Tehama County, the agency said in a news release.
The man was identified by the Tehama County Coroner’s Office as Andrew Brake, a 40-year-old from Chico.
Brake was headed north on 99, just south of Tehama Vina Road in Tehama, when the road made a slight curve to the left, California Highway Patrol officer Ken Reineman said. Brake “failed to maintain his path,” drifted off the road to the right and hit a tree. His vehicle, believed to be a pickup truck, was engulfed in flames, Reineman said.
Brake died in the vehicle fire, Reineman said. The crash occurred at 12:17 a.m., he added.
Gov. Jerry Brown expressed his condolences Thursday afternoon.
“On behalf of all Californians, we honor Andrew and the many other brave firefighters and emergency responders who have risked their lives to protect others,” Brown said in a news release, adding that Capitol flags would be flown at half-staff.
Brake is survived by his parents, Melvin and Teresa; daughters Marissa, 20; and Miranda, 16; and their mother, Liberté; as well as by his sister Lyndsay Barrett, the news release said.
The massive Carr Fire reached 177,450 acres and 48 percent containment Thursday morning, Cal Fire said. Four people have died doing fire-related work: Brake, Redding firefighter Jeremy Stoke, private bulldozer operator Don Ray Smith and PG&E apprentice lineman Jairus Ayeta.
Four civilians, including a great-grandmother and her two great-grandchildren, also have died.