Firefighter Working on Dixie Fire (CA) Dies of Illness

In this long exposure photo, flames from the Dixie Fire spread in Genesee, Calif., on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Ethan Swope)

Victoria Hsieh

The Sacramento Bee

(MCT)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A firefighter assigned to the Dixie fire has died from illness.

The U.S. Forest Service identified the firefighter as Marcus Pacheco. He recently worked as an assistant fire engine operator with the Almanor Ranger District.

A U.S. Forest Service news release did not specify if the illness was fire-related.

Pacheco spent 30 years firefighting for multiple agencies. “He was very active in the Forest Service and the community at large,” U.S. Forest Service officials said. “From school education programs to fighting fire, Marcus always showed up and lent a hand. Marcus will be mourned by all that knew and cared for him.”

The Dixie fire has reached 910,495 acres (1,423 square miles) with 57% containment, Cal Fire said in a update Monday morning. Authorities say the southeastern part of the Dixie fire continues to “produce extreme fire behavior daily spreading south and east in very dry and receptive fuel.”

The damage assessment is ongoing, Cal Fire said. The fire has destroyed 1,282 structures, including homes and small businesses.

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