Teenage girl dies in hospital after Mendocino wildfires


REDWOOD VALLEY, Calif. - A teenage girl died in a hospital three weeks after she was severely burned in a fire that tore through Mendocino County, California. Her death raised the number of those killed in the state's wildfires this month to 43.

According to the Associated Press (AP), 17-year-old Kressa Shepherd died Sunday night at a Sacramento hospital from injuries she sustained during a statewide fire siege that began on Oct. 8.

Kressa Shepherd was with her family when the Redwood Valley Fire reached their home and they attempted to escape.

Her brother, 14-year-old Kai Logan Shepherd, also died as a result of the Redwood Valley Fire. According to officials, he was overtaken while he running from the flames with the rest of his family. He was found in the family's driveway.

Kai Logan's mother, father and sister Kressa were hospitalized with severe burns.

Kressa Shepherd's aunt, Mindi Ramos, said officials from Shriners Hospital for Children told her Kressa did not register pain during a change of the dressing on her burns. Doctors performed a CAT scan on her brain and, according to Ramos, determined she was "brain-dead," AP said. Ramos said doctors "turned off the ventilator and let her go." Kressa's brother, 14-year-old Kai Shepherd, was among the youngest who died in the wildfires.

Hoopa Fire Department Chief, Rod Mendes, said the state should never see a wildfire of that magnitude again.

"That should give us an idea on what we need to do, that should never happen in California again," Mendes said. "If that happens in California again, we as fire managers and we as public safety leaders in the state of California haven't done our job." Kressa and Kai Shepherd's parents are still in the hospital with injuries they also sustained during the Redwood Valley Fire.

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