Family, friends remember PG&E worker killed in Carr Fire zone

Byby Cornell Barnard via KGO logo
Monday, August 6, 2018
EMBED <>More Videos

A seventh death has been reported in the battle against the Carr Fire.

REDDING, Calif. (KGO) -- A seventh death has been reported in the battle against the Carr Fire.

PG&E is mourning the loss of one of its linemen, who was killed in Shasta County. Jairus Ayeta, 21, was on duty when the utility says he was involved in a vehicle accident.

RELATED: The latest evacuation orders for Shasta County's Carr Fire, Mendocino County's Complex Fire

Friends say that Ayeta, who everyone called Jay, loved his job working for PG&E. They say he knew the risks of his job but he was dedicated to helping others.

PG&E said Ayeta was working near the scene of the Carr Fire in rural Shasta County when tragedy struck. "They were working in dangerous terrain, performing electric power restoration work, when he suffered a fatal injuries associated with a vehicle accident," said company spokesperson Melissa Subbotin.

Ayeta was an apprentice lineman who had worked for the company for two years. A native of Uganda, he moved to Santa Rosa with his family several years ago.

RELATED: PG&E worker killed in Carr Fire is 7th death in massive wildfire

His cousin, Judith, told ABC7 by phone how proud she was of him. "I was proud, I was so optimistic when he graduated. When he got a job, bought a house, seemed like he was really doing good," she said.

A GoFundMe page has been established by friends to help Ayeta's family with expenses during this difficult time. So far, more than $18,000 has been raised.

PG&E says it's now reviewing safety measures for all of its crews working in Northern California fire zones.

Click here to make a donation to the GoFundMe page.

In response to the devastating wildfires in Shasta County, Tri Counties Bank has created a verified GoFundMe campaign to help those impacted by the fires. Click here if you'd like to help.

Get the latest on the Carr Fire here, the Complex Fire here and the latest on wildfires across California here.