LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – U.S. Forest Service firefighter was killed Saturday night battling a wildfire in Northern California, becoming the second firefighter to die in just over a week.
The firefighter, whose name was not released, was killed fighting the Sierra fire near Lake Tahoe when a tree fell on him. Another firefighter was injured.
“The incident occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m. in a remote area between the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and the Eldorado National Forest,” according to the statement.
U.S. Forest Service firefighter David Ruhl, 38, was killed while scouting a blaze in Modoc County, near the Oregon border.
There are more than a dozen fires burning across Northern California.
The largest of them, the Rocky fire, is being contained by firefighters.
Hundreds of people who fled their homes as the erratic Rocky fire consumed more than 70,000 acres have returned to their communities to find devastation in the blaze’s wake.
The massive fire destroyed 43 homes and 53 outbuildings, and eight structures were damaged as it quickly spread across Colusa, Lake and Yolo counties.
On Thursday, evacuation orders were lifted for 800 homes. As residents returned, they found scorched hillsides, damaged roads and homes in ruins.
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Fire officials planned to lift evacuation orders for homes in the Spring Valley area at 10 a.m. California routes 16 and 20 also will reopen at 10 a.m. Friday, according to CalFire spokesman Daniel Berlant.
More than 3,500 firefighters are battling the blaze, which started July 29 and is burning north of Napa.