A firefighter died Thursday while battling the massive Southern California wildfire that has burned through multiple counties since it erupted last week. Fire Chief Ken Pimlott of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said at a press conference he was “deeply saddened” by the death of 32-year-old Cory Iverson, who leaves behind a pregnant wife and 2-year-old daughter. Pimlott gave no further details on how Iverson died but said the incident is under investigation. Iverson’s death marks the first fatality among firefighters since the Thomas Fire exploded north of Santa Paula on Dec. 4. A 70-year-old woman was killed last week while trying to flee the blaze, which now covers 379 square miles and has destroyed 970 buildings in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. As of Thursday, the fire was 30 percent contained. “The firefight in front of us continues to go on. The communities we are protecting are depending on us and we will not fail,” Pimlott said.
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