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Firefighter Died After Being Trapped In Wind-Fueled Blaze

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Posted at 3:20 PM, Aug 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-07 17:23:00-04

ALTURAS, Calif. (AP) -- A firefighter killed by a wildfire in Northern California was exploring for ways to attack it when he became trapped after erratic winds stoked the blaze.

Information officer Ken Sandusky said U.S. Forest Service firefighter David Ruhl was driving down a road in a vehicle by himself Thursday, scouting the area when the fire became very active.

Sandusky said the 38-year-old Ruhl was one of several firefighters looking for ways to fight the then-small fire when it suddenly expanded.

Crews fighting the blaze lost communication with Ruhl on Thursday evening. His body was recovered Friday.

Ruhl, of Rapid City, South Dakota, had been on temporary assignment since June in California, where he was an assistant fire management officer.

The wildfire has been burning in the Modoc National Forest, about a hundred miles south of Oregon. 

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)