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Firefighter originally from Mecca dies in wine country fires

The family of a firefighter who died in a rollover crash while battling the wildfires in Northern California, has confirmed to KESQ News Channel 3 & CBS Local 2 that he was from Mecca.

The L.A. Times reports, Garrett Angel Paiz was a driver of a water truck, delivering a full tank of water to help fight the Nuns fire when the truck rolled over on Oakville Grade in Napa County at 7 a.m. on Monday, according to Cal Fire and California Highway Patrol officials.

According to Garrett’s Facebook page, he graduated from Coachella Valley High School and studied Agriculture Education and Extension at College of the Desert.

Garnett had moved to Missouri where he became a firefighter. He was contracted to work in Northern California alongside members of Cal Fire, according to family.

Fond memories from the family of Garrett, a funny and adventurous child growing up in Mecca.
Growing up and leaving town to become a cowboy — literally herding cattle — then becoming a firefighter.

“He was just one of those kids from a small town in Mecca that actually got out of the town and lived his dreams,” said Cinthia Paiz, Garnett’s sister. “That’s what he would want everyone to remember him by that he went out there and lived his dreams.”

“We are all satisfied with the life that he led and he lived those dreams and we could not be prouder,” said Carlos Paiz, Garrett’s brother.

“He was helping to fight the fires and do the right thing,” CHP Capt. Mike Palacio said. “Unfortunately, at this point, we don’t know what happened.”

Garnett’s family believes fatigue played a factor in his death.

The death toll has now climbed up to 41, with Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant saying this has been the “deadliest week that we’ve experienced in California…from wildfires.”

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