In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, firefighters keep an eye on flames as pockets of unburned vegetation flare up off Bella Vista Dr. in Montecito, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. Mike Eliason AP
In this photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, firefighters keep an eye on flames as pockets of unburned vegetation flare up off Bella Vista Dr. in Montecito, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. Mike Eliason AP

The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

The State Worker

State firefighter killed while fighting Southern California fire

By Adam Ashton

aashton@sacbee.com

December 14, 2017 12:26 PM

A Cal Fire engineer was killed Thursday morning while battling the Thomas Fire in Southern California.

San Diego-based fire engineer Cory Iverson died while working to turn back a fire that has burned more than 240,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Iverson, 32, is survived by his 2-year-old daughter and his wife.

Gov. Jerry Brown late Thursday issued a statement expressing condolences to the family.

“Anne and I are saddened by Engineer Cory Iverson’s tragic death. His bravery and years of committed service to the people of California will never be forgotten,” Brown said.

He’s the first professional state fire fighter to die while fighting a fire this year in what is shaping up to be a record-breaking season. Earlier this year, a Cal Fire contractor and two inmates assigned to firefighting crews were killed in three separate incidents.

“Please join me in keeping our fallen firefighter and his loved ones in your prayers and all the responders on the front lines in your thoughts as they continue to work under extremely challenging conditions,” Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott wrote in a message to the department.

Adam Ashton: 916-321-1063, @Adam_Ashton. Sign up for state worker news alerts at sacbee.com/newsletters.