Brendan Weber

Contract Firefighter Killed After Water Tanker Crashes in Napa County

A contract firefighter on Monday was killed after the water tanker they were driving crashed in the region where crews continued to battle a spate of wildfires that ignited last week, a Cal Fire official said.

The crash occurred sometime before 7 a.m. along Oakville Grade Road near Highway 29 in Napa County, Cal Fire official David Shew said. 

"This morning we tragically lost a member of our firefighting community," Shew said.

The large truck, which had been working at the Nuns Fire, was making its way downhill when it somehow lost control and landed upside down on a steep embankment next to the road, according to Shew.

"This is a very, very steep road," Shew said. "Oakville Grade is known as own of the steepest roads in Napa County."

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, Shew said. When asked if fatigue could have played a role, Shew said firefighter energy levels are draining by the day.

"Everyone is getting tired," he said. "There has been no break for these firefighters since the fires erupted last Sunday evening."

The victim was not a Cal Fire firefighter, according to Shew.

Further information was not available.

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