Columbia, CA – Tuolumne-Calaveras unit of CAL Fire confirms to Clarke Broadcasting that the firefighter who lost his life Thursday battling the 249,500 acre Thomas Fire in Ventura County worked at the Columbia Air Attack base.
An investigation is ongoing into the death of 32-year-old Cory Iverson of Escondido, who leaves behind a pregnant wife and 2-year-old daughter, as earlier reported here. The local CAL Fire unit reports that Iverson, a fire apparatus engineer, while working at the Columbia base in 2015 was the driver of what is referred to as the “Heli-tender” truck. It supported Helicopter 404 by following the helicopter to fires and supplying things like gas and needed equipment, according to the local CAL Fire dispatch.
Iverson, who had been with Cal Fire since 2009, worked at the Columbia base for only about a year, before he was transferred to his San Diego post.
San Diego Cal Fire officials reported that Iverson was part of a five-engine strike team fighting the flames just outside of Fillmore northeast of Ventura when he was killed. Details regarding exactly what happened have not been released as Cal Fire Director Chief Ken Pimlott stated that an accident review team has been assigned to the incident.