Sunday, July 29, 2018

Second firefighter dies as Yosemite Valley fire blazes on

A firefighter was killed Sunday as he battled a massive wildfire near Yosemite National Park, marking the second firefighting death since the blaze started more than two weeks ago. The firefighter, identified as Brian Hughes by the Los Angeles Times, was working with a crew to remove brush and other fuel near the fire's front lines, spokesperson Mike Theune said Sunday. Hughes, captain of the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots, was killed after he was struck by a tree. The 33-year-old was treated at the scene of the so-called Ferguson Fire, but died before he could be hospitalized. "The team at Sequoia and Kings National Parks is devastated by this terrible news," Woody Smeck, superintendent of the parks, said in a statement. "Our deepest condolences go out to the firefighter’s family and loved ones. We grieve this loss with you." The tragedy comes two weeks after the death of Braden Varney, a 36-year-old California firefighter who was using a bulldozer to prevent the wildfire from spreading. The bulldozer rolled over as Varney was using it to cut a firebreak, and first responders weren't immediately able to retrieve his body. The Ferguson Fire, which has been ablaze since July 13, was 30 percent contained as of Sunday afternoon, according to Fox 40. At least seven other firefighters have been injured while battling the fire...MORE

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