A U.S. Forest Service firefighter died Thursday responding to a wildfire in Northern California.
David "Dave" Ruhl. 38, of Rapid City, South Dakota, was found Friday morning after search and rescue efforts were conducted, according to a news release posted on the U.S. Forest Service website.
Ruhl was responding to the Frog Fire, northwest of Adin, California.
Ruhl was on temporary assignment to the Big Valley Ranger District of the Modoc National Forest as an Assistant Fire Management Officer since June 14, the U.S. Forest Service said. His permanent position is Engine Captain on the Mystic Ranger District of the Black Hills National Forest in Rapid City.
The Forest Service is investigating the line-of-duty death.
"This loss of life is tragic and heartbreaking," Forest Supervisor Amanda McAdams said. "Please keep the family and all of our Forest Service employees in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
The Frog Fire, southeast of Lava Camp on the Big Valley Ranger District, started Thursday afternoon, exhibiting active fire behavior and growing to more than 800 acres by Friday evening with active spotting ahead of the fire front, the forest service said.
No cause of the fire has been determined.
California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. declared a state of emergency because of recent wildfires in the Golden State. The declaration frees up additional resources to aid in the firefighting efforts, according to the Governor's Office.
"Firefighter Ruhl will be remembered for his service and bravery and we extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues with the U.S. Forest Service," Brown said.
Ruhl is survived by his wife, Erin, and their two children. He worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 14 years and previously served in the U.S. Coast Guard.
Weather will continue to be an issue this weekend for firefighters, AccuWeather Meteorologist Mike Doll said.
"Spotty thunderstorms will pop up each afternoon this weekend in the northern Sierra Range with temperatures in the 90s. Unfortunately, lightning could ignite additional fires," Doll said.