SAN FRANCISCO — A firefighter killed by a wildfire in Northern California became trapped by the erratic, wind-stoked blaze while he was scouting an area to decide how best to attack the flames, a U.S. Forest Service official said Saturday.
Forest Service firefighter David Ruhl, 38, was driving down a road in the Modoc National Forest on Thursday when the fire grew suddenly and trapped him, Forest Service spokesman Ken Sandusky said.
"He was trying to develop a plan of attack," Sandusky said.
Officials said they couldn't immediately say whether Ruhl had time to let others know by radio that he was in trouble, or whether the flames overtook him too fast for him to call for help. Crews fighting the blaze lost communication with Ruhl on Thursday evening, and his body was recovered Friday. Read more...