Firefighter Killed While Battling Wildfire Near Yosemite National Park

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A firefighter was killed Saturday morning while battling a wildfire in the Sierra National Forest, officials said.

Braden Varney, a heavy equipment operator with Cal Fire, died at the scene as crews battled the Ferguson fire in the rugged area near Yosemite National Park, said Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean.

Varney, 36, of Mariposa, had served in Cal Fire’s Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit for a decade. He left behind a wife and two young children, according to the agency.

“He was a community member. That’s where he lived, protecting the area where he grew up,” McLean said.

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