Deadly fire in California's Shasta County claims seventh victim

California's deadliest wildfire this summer claimed a seventh victim Saturday as the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) confirmed an employee working in the area of Shasta County's Carr Fire perished in the blaze.

Calling the loss "tragic," PG&E spokesman John Kaufman said in a statement that "we are working with law enforcement to investigate the circumstances of the incident."

The victim was not identified.

"The safety of our employees and our customers is PG&E's top priority," Kaufman said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with our fallen team member, his family and our extended team."

The fire has so far claimed the lives of a firefighter, Inspector Jeremy Stoke, and a private bulldozer operator, Don Ray Smith, 81, on July 27; great-grandmother Melody Bledsoe, 70, and her 5-year-old great-grandson James Roberts and 4-year-old great-granddaughter Emily Roberts July 28; and a fourth civilian, identified by the Redding Record Searchlight as Daniel Bush, 62, whose death was announced by officials on July 29.

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The Northern California blaze has so far consumed 145,015 acres and destroyed 1,078 residential structures, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). It was 41 percent contained Saturday afternoon, according to Cal Fire.

The blaze whipped up its own stormy cauldron of weather July 28 as it consumed part of the city of Redding. It was sparked July 23 by a broken-down vehicle, fire officials said.

It was one of several blazes that have fed off drought-starved brush across the Golden State in late July and early August. The southern half of the state was bracing for a third heat wave of the season, in which temperatures were expected to surpass 100 degrees.

Last week, President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in California as a result of the fires, which now include the 181,343-acre Mendocino Complex Fire in Lake County and Mendocino County.

About 40,000 residents statewide have been displaced by the disaster, California Gov. Jerry Brown told reporters Saturday.