Cory Iverson with wife, Ashley Iverson, and daughter Evie. Family photo
Cory Iverson, a CalFire engineer from Escondido in San Diego County, was killed while fighting the huge Thomas Fire near Fillmore on Thursday. Iverson, who was 32, leaves behind his wife, Ashley Iverson, and 2-year-old daughter Evie. Ashley Iverson is expecting the couple's second child early next year.
On Sunday, she escorted the body of her husband at the head of a procession that drove freeways from Ventura to San Diego County. The line of fire trucks was escorted by the California Highway Patrol and was saluted by firefighters and the public at dozens of freeway bridges along the route. In spots, traffic stopped on the opposite side of the freeway as drivers paid their respects.
"The world stood still today for my sweet husband," she posted on Facebook Sunday night. "Honor, gratitude and love forever. He is home."
.@CAL_FIRE Engineer Cory Iverson was taken back to San Diego today. We are humbled by the outpouring of support along the route from the public and from our public safety partners. Thanks to @CHP_HQ for helping us in getting Cory home. pic.twitter.com/1lahxOV7AI— Chief Ken Pimlott (@CALFIRE_CHIEF) December 18, 2017
A memorial for Iverson is planned for 10 a.m. Dec. 23 at the Rock Church in Point Loma. A GoFundMe page has raised about $423,000 in pledges for the family.
The Thomas Fire on Sunday was declared to be 45 percent contained, the highest number yet. It has burned 270,000 acres — making it the third largest wildfire on record in California — and over the weekend two destroyed homes near Montecito. CalFire says that 757 homes have been destroyed since the wildfire began on Dec. 4.
More than 8,500 firefighting personnel have worked on this fire, with the cost so far pegged at $123.8 million.
Strong emotions and pride were on display Sunday as people gathered to honor fallen local firefighter Cory Iverson as his funeral procession made its way to San Diego. https://t.co/9kqqkXOuEg pic.twitter.com/pk9umFbH8T— CBS News 8 (@CBS8) December 18, 2017