San Bernardino County, Calif. (WIAT) —A firefighter who went missing in a forest while fighting the el dorado fire has been found dead.
The El Dorado fire has burned more than 21 thousand acres and was 66 percent contained as of Friday.
The firefighter, in San Bernardino, California, was first reported missing Thursday, but the U.S. Forest service confirmed early Friday morning, the firefighter had been found dead.
Zack Behrens with the U.S. Forestry said, “Our deepest sympathies are with the family, friends and fellow firefighters during this time. The cause is under investigation.”
“It’s so heartbreaking. You just pray something like this doesn’t happen,” said Kent Colby.
“Something like that wasn’t supposed to happen and it did and he sacrificed himself for other people like us,” said Neyda Duillen.
Fire investigators say the fire started when a couple staged a gender reveal with pyrotechnics in a park, during extreme heat.
Cal fire says the family is cooperating, but could face charges. The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department now says investigators were headed to the area where the firefighter was found, adding it’s too early to say whether the family could also be charged in the death.