At least two people have died helping to fight California wildfires that have forced thousands to flee their homes, destroyed over 100 structures, led to the evacuation of an Air Force base and covered large swaths of the Bay Area in smoke.
“We are experiencing fires the likes of which we haven’t seen in many, many years,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference Wednesday.
A PG&E utility worker died while helping first responders battle one complex or group of fires in Northern California, according to NBC Bay Area. The utility company said out of respect for the worker’s family, it would not release further details.
A helicopter pilot was also killed in a crash while on a water-dropping mission Wednesday morning at the Hills Fire, around 9 miles south of Coalinga in the San Joaquin Valley, said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.
The pilot worked for a private company contracted by the agency.