A preliminary Cal Fire report said Corey Iverson died battling the Thomas Fire last month in Ventura County after becoming trapped in a dead-end gulch.

32-year-old Cory Iverson of San Diego, an engineer with CAL Fire, died Dec. 14, 2017, while battling the Thomas Fire in Ventura County. (Courtesy Photo)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Fire officials say a state firefighter who died battling the largest wildfire recorded in California’s modern history was putting out a spot fire when he found himself trapped by the flames.

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A preliminary report by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection found 32-year-old Cory Iverson died battling the Thomas Fire last month in Ventura County after becoming trapped in a dead-end gulch.

Cal Fire says in the report released Tuesday to the San Diego Union Tribune that Iverson was surrounded by spot fires in windy conditions.

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It says Iverson and four other firefighters were laying hose along a bulldozer-created fire break when they turned their attention to a spot fire flared up about 20 feet deep. More spot fires broke out almost simultaneously, cutting off his escape route.

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