USFA: California On-Duty Death

The U.S. Fire Administration has announced the official on-duty death of Firefighter/Bulldozer Operator Don R. Smith, 81,  of CAL FIRE on July 27, 2018.

Firefighter/Bulldozer Operator Don Smith was operating his bulldozer while battling the Carr Fire in Northern California’s Shasta County when he was overtaken by flames. Smith’s body was found by emergency personnel in the area of Benson Drive and Rock Creek Road in Redding, California. The nature and cause of fatal injury are still to be reported.

Tribute is being paid to Firefighter/Bulldozer Operator Smith at http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/firefighter-fatalities/

To date, 58 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.

USFA: California On-Duty Death

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.