San Diego firefighter dies battling California's 4th largest fire in history

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Fire Engineer Cory Iverson was killed battling a massive blaze northwest of Los Angeles that is now considered to be California’s fourth largest wildfire in the state’s history, fire officials announced Thursday.

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Firemen have lowered the flag to half staff in memory of their fallen brother.

His name was Cory Iverson and he was only 32-years-old. He was a fire engineer with Cal Fire out of San Diego.

Iverson leaves behind a pregnant wife, a two-year-old daughter and another baby on the way.

A flag draped casket and a final sendoff for a man who was by all accounts is a hero.

What happened Thursday morning north of Fillmore is still a mystery.

A mayday went out over the radio for a firefighter, but officials aren't releasing any details out of respect for Iverson's family.

Iverson gave his life serving a community far away from his home and his family.

A final act of heroism from a man who answered a call few others ever do.

CAL Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said in a press release, “Please join me in keeping our fallen firefighter and his loved ones in your prayers all the responders on the front lines in your thoughts as they continue to work under extremely challenging conditions,”

State officials said the wildfire straddling coastal Ventura and Santa Barbara counties covered 379 square miles. That surpassed a blaze that burned inland Santa Barbara County a decade ago.

Since the blaze broke out on Dec. 4, it has burned destroyed 970 buildings — including at least 700 homes. Flames threatened some 18,000 buildings and prompted evacuations of about 100,000 people. Covering more ground than the city of San Diego, it was 30 percent contained.

To the south in San Diego County, firefighters came very close to containing another major wildfire a week after it broke out.

That fire burned down 157 structures, most in its destructive first hours. It also killed 46 race horses at a training center, and left one of their trainers with serious burns.

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