A 38-year-old Ventura County firefighter was killed Wednesday morning in a rollover crash while driving to the 12,300-acre Canyon Fire on the Central Coast, authorities said.
Two firefighters assigned to the massive blaze were in a water-tender truck when it crashed around 6:20 a.m. on Highway 246 at Purisima Road in the Lompoc area, according to a Ventura County Fire Department news release.
The passenger became trapped in the vehicle after it rolled over multiple times and died, local authorities told Santa Barbara-area television station KEYT reported.
The driver survived, sustaining minor injuries.
The Fire Department identified the deceased firefighter as Fire Engineer Ryan Osler. He was stationed at Fire Station 42 in Moorpark, and had worked for the department for the past 18 years, according to the release.
Osler began his career as a member of the Ventura County Fire Handcrew. He was hired as a trainee firefighter in 2006, and was promoted to the rank of fire engineer six years later.
“Our collective hearts are broken at the loss of our friend and brother Ryan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said in the release. “We are deeply moved by the outpouring of public support for Ryan and on behalf of all the men and women of the Ventura County Fire Department, we thank you for your continued prayers.”
Osler was from Santa Clarita and is survived by his wife and two children, according to a statement from Gov. Jerry Brown, who said the death saddened him.
"This tragedy reminds us of the dangers firefighters face every day," Brown said.
An investigation is underway to determine what caused the fatal solo-vehicle crash.
Osler was headed up to Vandenberg Air Force Base to help with fight the Canyon Fire. The blaze erupted on the base Saturday and had grown to 12,353 acres as of Wednesday morning.
More than 1,000 fire personnel have been deployed to battle the blaze, which is 50 percent contained, according to the federal InciWeb page for the incident. Full containment is expected Friday.
Following Osler's death, flags were ordered to half-staff, according to the Fire Department. Mourning bands would also be worn for an undetermined amount of time.
Funeral arrangements have not been set yet.