Cal Fire Mechanic Assigned to Carr Fire Dies After Crash, Bringing Death Toll in Redding Blaze to 8

Firefighters try to control a back burn as the Carr Fire spreads toward the towns of Douglas City and Lewiston near Redding on July 31, 2018. (Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Firefighters try to control a back burn as the Carr Fire spreads toward the towns of Douglas City and Lewiston near Redding on July 31, 2018. (Credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

A Cal Fire mechanic who was assigned to the Carr fire died in a vehicle crash in Tehama County early Thursday morning, the eighth death connected to the furious blaze that has scorched roughly 177,000 acres in Northern California, officials said.

The victim, described as a heavy equipment mechanic, died in a crash on Highway 99, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement.

The crash happened at 12:17 a.m. after a Dodge Ram 5500 veered off the highway’s right shoulder and slammed into a tree, according to Officer Ken Reineman of the California Highway Patrol’s Red Bluff station. The vehicle caught fire and the victim has not been publicly identified, Reineman said.

The Thursday morning wreck led to the eighth death connected to the Carr fire, which has proven to be the most lethal of the year. Four Redding residents, a Redding firefighter, a bulldozer operator and a Pacific Gas & Electric utility worker have also died in connection with the blaze, which has destroyed more than 1,000 homes, officials have said.

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