MARIPOSA COUNTY – A dozer operator has been killed in a rollover accident on the Ferguson Fire burning along Highway 140 west of Yosemite.
“It is with deep sadness that Cal Fire can confirm that this morning while battling the Ferguson Fire on the Sierra National Forest, Cal Fire Heavy Fire Equipment Operator Braden Varney from the Cal Fire Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit was tragically killed,” said Cal Fire in a statement released today.
“He leaves behind a wife and two small children. More information will be made available as we confirm details. In the meantime, please join us in keeping Braden and his loved ones in your prayers and all the responders on the front lines in your thoughts as they continue to work under extremely challenging conditions.”
At about 8:45 a.m., Air Attack reported seeing the overturned dozer at the end of a dozer line near the Hite Cove trail just south of Marble Point.
A helicopter was called in for a hoist operation to bring the dozer operator to a landing zone for medical attention, but at 9:15 a.m. when personnel reached the site, the operator was reported to be deceased.
Braden Varney was just 36 years old.
The Ferguson Fire is burning in very steep, dangerous terrain in the Merced River canyon along Highway 140.