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A bulldozer operator, working as a private contractor on the North Fire, died in a car crash on westbound Interstate 80, just to the east of Blue Canyon, California, Tuesday.
Officials say 37-year-old Antonio Flores of Yuba City was on his way to the North Fire incident command post, located at the Blue Canyon Airport, just before 6 a.m. on Tuesday when the crash occurred.
“This has been an extremely tough fire season for our firefighters both physically and emotionally,” said Incident Commander Curtis Coots.
According to a press release, Flores was an employee with Kent Siller Trucking for more than 20 years. He is survived by his wife, with whom he has been married for 18 years, and his four children.
“The U.S. Forest Service and the employees of the Tahoe National Forest send our thoughts and condolences to the Flores family. We honor the service Tony Flores provided to the national forests,” said Tahoe National Forest Supervisor Eli Llano.
The cause of the crash has not yet been determined. It is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.
The North Fire, which started on Sept. 3 near Emigrant Gap, California, has burned approximately 1,120 acres of land and is 85 percent contained.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Flores family. If you would like to donate, visit the website here.