Bulldozer operator killed while fighting Soberanes fire
A bulldozer operator assisting in the firefighting efforts at the Soberanes fire was killed when his vehicle rolled over, CalFire said Wednesday morning.
The information was released in an early morning briefing at Toro Park. No other details have been released at this time.
The Soberanes fire has grown to 23,568 acres, and containment remains at 10%.
Twenty homes have been destroyed and an estimated 2000 homes are being threatened.
The Soberanes Fire's steep, rugged, mountainous location is making it a challenge for firefighters to access. More than 3,000 personnel are battling the blaze on the ground and from the air under a unified command by Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service.
Big Sur residents in the Palo Colorado neighborhood evacuated Friday. Carmel Highlands residents living on Corona Road and Riley Ranch Road east of Highway 1 were ordered to evacuate Monday. The Rancho San Carlos community, between Canter Run and Garzas Trail in Carmel Valley, was ordered to evacuate Tuesday.
The Monterey County Sheriff's Department also issued mandatory evacuations for Weston Ridge Road, Garrapatos Road, and Highway 1 at Old Coast Road.
A group of hikers who found themselves near the fire area were safely extracted from the area due to collaborative efforts between the Monterey County Sheriff's Search and Rescue and fire operations personnel with no injuries. The eight men went hiking five days ago and became lost with little water or food. Bulldozing crews spotted the men Tuesday and CalFire used air support to locate them. Search and rescue crews from the Monterey County Sheriff's Department, along with the bulldozer operators, evacuated the men to a campground, where they were examined by medical personnel.
The Soberanes fire is now 20% the size of San Jose, California.
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