Aug. 5 (UPI) -- The death toll of a raging California wildfire increased to seven as the blaze neared 155,000 acres on Sunday, local officials said.
A Pacific Gas and Electric Co., employee died Saturday while working in the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area to restore service to areas affected by the Carr Fire, a company spokesman confirmed to the Redding Record Searchlight.
Spokesman John Kaufman said the employee, who wasn't immediately identified, died in a vehicle incident and PG&E will work with law enforcement to investigate the circumstances.
"Of course our thoughts and prayers are with our fallen team member, his family and our extended team," Kaufman said.
Six other people, including two firefighters, have been killed by the Carr Fire, which has grown into the state's seventh-most destructive fire in history.
The blaze destroyed 1,080 residences, 24 commercial structures and 500 outbuildings, damaged 190 residences, 26 commercial structures and 62 outbuildings, and threatened 1,358 structures, according to Cal Fire.
As of Sunday morning, Cal Fire said the Carr Fire had grown to 154,524 acres and was 41 percent contained.
California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced Saturday that the White House approved the state's request for a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to deal with the impact of the Carr Fire and 16 other major wildfires burning throughout the state.
"This is part of a trend -- a new normal that we've got to deal with. We're dealing with it humanly, financially and governmentally," Brown said. "These kinds of horrible situations bring people together, regardless of the lesser kind of ideologies and partisan considerations."
The declaration provides eligibility for programs and support for people in the impacted by the fires, including housing assistance, food aid, unemployment assistance, counseling and medical services, and legal services.
It also includes public assistance to help state, tribal and local governments with ongoing emergency response and recovery costs and hazard mitigation.