The U.S. Fire Administration has announced the official on-duty death of Firefighter/Equipment Operator Braden Varney, 36, of CAL FIRE on July 14, 2018.
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.
Tribute is being paid to Firefighter/Equipment Operator Varney at http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/firefighter-fatalities/
To date, 53 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2018. Year-to-date and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/ff_fatality_reports.html
Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.