Bulldozer operator killed as California wildfires continue to rage

The Soberanes fire was first reported on Friday, July 22. By Saturday morning, the fire had grown to 2,000 acres and forced the evacuation of the community of Palo Colorado. Photograph:( Getty )

Reuters California, US Jul 28, 2016, 01.32 AM (IST)
The Soberanes Fire continued on Wednesday (July 27) to threaten some 2,000 properties after destroying 20 homes on Sunday in an area between Big Sur and the scenic coastal town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, officials said.

Firefighters were informed about the death of the bulldozer operator, which occurred overnight before they headed out early on Wednesday

Officials said the bulldozer overturned and that the operator was a private contractor. A second bulldozer also overturned while battling the flames, but that operator was uninjured, officials said.

The Soberanes Fire has scorched more than 23,500 acres (9,510 hectares) at the edge of the Los Padres National Forest since breaking out on Friday and some 3,080 firefighters had the blaze about 10 per cent contained on Wednesday, officials said.

The Soberanes Fire is approximately 300 miles (480 km) to the north of the so-called Sand Fire in the Angeles National Forest, of which 40 per cent of the 38,350-acre (15,520 hectare) blaze had been contained by Wednesday morning.