Forest Service worker dies fighting Northern California wildfire

June 12, 2013 at 9:34 AM

ALTURAS, Calif., June 12 (UPI) -- A wildfire sparked by lightning in Northern California felled a tree that killed a U.S. Forest Service smoke jumper, the Forest Service said.

Luke Sheehy, 28, of Susanville, Calif. was struck by a portion of the falling tree while battling the Saddle Back fire in the Modoc National Forest, about 150 miles northeast of Redding, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

A statement issued by the Forest Service said Sheehy was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Alturas and was pronounced dead on arrival.

The Saddleback fire was one of several started by lightning across Northern California on Sunday and Monday.

In Southern California, hundreds of firefighters battled a fire Tuesday that scorched at least 1,300 acres of heavy chaparral and timber on the northern end of the Morongo Indian Reservation.

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