Braden Varney, Firefighter/Equipment Operator

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Firefighter/Equipment Operator Braden Varney was assigned to the Madera-Mariposa CAL FIRE unit, which has been fighting the 130-acre Ferguson Fire in the Sierra National Forest. On 7/14/2018, Firefighter/Equipment Operator Varney was working on a ridge to create a fire break.  The bulldozer Varney was operating overturned and rolled down the ridge causing Varney to suffer fatal injuries. The wreckage was spotted by airplane on 07/15/2018 and crews reached the site and removed Varney’s body on 07/16/2018. The accident is being investigated by Cal/OSHA.

Incident Location: Mariposa County, near the west end of Yosemite National Park and the Sierra National Forest. (U.S. National Grid: U.S. National Grid: 11S KB 601 682 (DD: 37.630, -119.718))

Department information

CAL FIRE
1416 9th Street
Sacramento, California 94424-2460

Chief: Director Ken Pimlott

Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.

Age: 36
Rank: Firefighter/Equipment Operator
Classification: Wildland Full-Time
Incident date: July 14, 2018
Date of death: July 14, 2018
Cause of death: Vehicle Collision - Includes Aircraft
Nature of death: Trauma
Activity type: Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property