A Santa Rosa PG&E worker became the seventh person to die in Shasta County’s Carr fire, according to authorities.
Jairus Ayeta, 21, was an apprentice lineman. He was helping restore power to part of Shasta County Saturday when he died in a vehicle crash.
Details weren’t available Monday on how the crash occurred. The Carr fire, centered near Redding, is the second largest fire burning in the state and the deadliest.
“They were working in dangerous terrain, performing electric power restoration work, when he suffered fatal injuries associated with a vehicle accident,” a PG&E spokeswoman Sunday told Channel 7 news.
PG&E also issued a statement, saying Ayeta was an employee and had been working in the area of the Carr fire Saturday. PG&E officials said they’re “working with law enforcement to understand the circumstances of the incident.”
“The safety of our employees and our customers is PG&E’s top priority,” officials said in the statement.
Ayeta’s family and friends could not be reached for comment.
He was born in Kampala, Uganda, and moved years ago to Santa Rosa with his family, according to the news report and a GoFundMe account set up to help his family.
Ayeta was known for his big smile, infectious laugh and strong work ethic, the fundraiser posting said.
“With a sad heart he put his climbers on for the last time on Saturday … while aiding in restoring power after the tragic Carr fire,” it stated.
Ayeta’s Facebook page reflected his enthusiasm for his work. In an October 2015 post, he wrote, “Working for a power company made me realize I made the best decision of my life, everyday’s (sic) something new, can’t wait to see what the future beholds.”
He was a Northwest Lineman College graduate and started his career in 2015 at Pike Electric in Miami, according to his Facebook page. He was hired by PG&E about two years ago.
You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707‑521-5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter@rossmannreport.