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Firefighter dies in Mendocino Complex Fire

The first fatality has been reported in connection with the largest blaze in California history.

At a 10 p.m. press conference Monday, Cal Fire confirmed that a firefighter from Utah, who had been “working on an active portion of the [Ranch] fire” within the Mendocino Complex, was injured. The firefighter from Utah was airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he later died. The incident is under investigation, the agency said.

No other details on the firefighter or incident were released and Cal Fire did not take questions after the press conference.

Officials thanked the men and women fighting the fires and urged citizens to listen to the evacuation warnings. More information on the fatality and progress of the fire efforts is expected Tuesday.

The Mendocino Complex Fire, which consists of both the Ranch and River fires, has burned through about 350,000 acres in Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties. The Ranch Fire also became the largest single fire in California history and, as of Monday evening, was the first to burn through more than 300,000 acres.

The River Fire was reported to be fully contained as of Monday evening, while the Ranch Fire was 59 percent contained.

Although the Mendocino Complex Fire has resulted in two injuries and destroyed 264 structures since it sparked July 27, it had not proved fatal. The Carr Fire in Shasta and Trinity counties has so far resulted in eight deaths.

This is a developing story.

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