Timeline of California firefighter’s COVID death released

October 29, 2021 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — New details have been released on the COVID-19 death of a firefighter who was assigned to one of California’s huge wildfires this summer.

U.S. Forest Service assistant fire engine operator Marcus Pacheco died due to complications of the virus last month, according to the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center, an interagency organization that promotes firefighter safety.

Pacheco, 53, was assigned to the Dixie Fire on Aug. 10 and then had close contact with a coronavirus-positive individual, the center said Friday. Pacheco became ill and tested positive for the virus on Aug. 29. He died on Sept. 2.

The Dixie Fire began July 13 in the Feather River Canyon on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, merged with another fire that ignited on July 22 and eventually scorched more than 1,505 square miles (3,898 square kilometers).