RIP Braden Varney CalFire Heavy Equipment Operator; died 7/14/2018 on the Ferguson Fire, Merced River Canyon west of Yosemite National Park, California.
(Photo taken while parked along Hwy 35). Flags are flying half-mast across (at least) California. This is the Saratoga Summit CalFire Station on Hwy 35 (Skyline Blvd) in Los Gatos, CA (San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit). Braden Varney was a native of Mariposa, California and second-generation with CalFire; a husband and father of two young children and extremely beloved in his community. As a landowner, a public lands user, a vehicle driver and most of all as a human, I have deep appreciation for and gratitude to those who put themselves in harms way to help those of us who may be or are at risk. RIP Braden Varney; I didn't know you but I am grateful to you for your hard and meaningful work with CalFire; and so very very sorry for your loved ones.