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Firefighter killed while battling massive Southern California blaze

A firefighter from San Diego died Thursday while fighting the Thomas Fire in Southern California, the state’s fourth-largest fire in modern history.

He’s been identified as Cal Fire San Diego Unit Fire Apparatus Engineer Cory Iverson, 32, a married father of two. The Thomas Fire started Dec. 4 in Santa Paula, and quickly spread to the southwest and northwest. It is now at 242,500 acres, having moved from Ventura County to Santa Barbara County, and has destroyed more than 900 homes. It’s been fueled by dry winds, which have died down for now but are expected to kick back up starting Friday.

The fire is only 30 percent contained, and fire officials said they do not expect it to be fully out until Jan. 7. Fire behavior analyst Tom Chavez told the Los Angeles Times the blaze is “60 miles long and 40 miles wide. There’s a lot of fire out there.”