MARIPOSA, Calif. — On Monday, two days after firefighter Braden Varney died battling the Ferguson Fire, rescue crews recovered his body.
The Ferguson Fire started on Friday, July 13 in the Sierra National Forest near Yosemite National Park. On Saturday, the fire shut down the primary route into the National Park. It also took the life of 36-year-old CAL FIRE Heavy Fire Equipment Operator (HFEO) Braden Varney.
According to CAL FIRE, Varney had a wife and two small children. Varney's father was also a HFEO for CAL FIRE, the Associated Press reports.
CAL FIRE announced that they had recovered Varney's body from the "accident site" on Monday, with the assistance of the California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 5.
"Please continue to keep Braden, his loved ones and all responders on the front lines in your thoughts and prayers as they continue to work under extremely challenging conditions," CAL FIRE said in a statement.
Varney's body will be carried via procession to the Stanislaus County Coroner's Office at 3 p.m. on Monday. CAL FIRE invited members of the public to pay their respects by lining the travel route as Varney is escorted.
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 .
Please join us in keeping Braden and his loved ones in your prayers and all the responders. pic.twitter.com/r0aFVeBsAz
— CAL FIRE SKU (@CALFIRESKU) July 14, 2018