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SACRAMENTO July 14, 2018 – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued the following statement regarding the death of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Heavy Equipment Operator Braden Varney:

“Anne and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Heavy Equipment Operator Braden Varney, a man who dedicated his life to protecting his fellow Californians. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and many colleagues who are mourning this sudden and tragic loss.”

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Heavy Equipment Operator Varney, 36, died today while fighting the Ferguson Fire on the Sierra National Forest. He was a second generation CAL FIRE employee and 10-year veteran of CAL FIRE.

Heavy Equipment Operator Varney is survived by his wife, Jessica, five-year-old daughter, Malhea and three-year-old son, Nolan.

In honor of Heavy Equipment Operator Varney, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.