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The Latest: Crews to try again to get body of firefighter

July 15, 2018
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FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2013 file photo, a fire truck drives past burning trees as firefighters continue to battle the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says a firefighter has been killed while battling a wildfire near Yosemite National Park. Officials say Heavy Fire Equipment Operator Braden Varney was killed Saturday, July 14, 2018, morning while battling the Ferguson Fire. The fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. Friday night in Mariposa County, near the west end of Yosemite National Park and the Sierra National Forest. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires in California (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

A California official says the body of a firefighter killed during a wildfire near Yosemite National Park won’t be retrieved until at least Monday.

Heavy fire equipment operator Braden Varney was driving a bulldozer when he died Saturday.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Deputy Chief Scott McLean says Varney’s body is in a precarious location in steep terrain and conditions are too dangerous to allow crews to get close Sunday. He says they’ll try again Monday.

Investigators are working to determine further circumstances surrounding Varney’s death.

The blaze is largely out of control after scorching more than 6 square miles (16 square kilometers) of dry brush in on the park’s western edge. Some rural communities and several lodges and hotels have been evacuated.

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9:15 a.m.

A wildfire that killed a California firefighter has grown overnight and forced the closure of a key route into Yosemite National Park.

Authorities said Sunday that the blaze in Mariposa County has scorched more than 6 square miles (16 square kilometers) of dry brush in steep terrain on the park’s western edge. It’s just 2 percent contained.

Officials have shut off electricity to many areas, including Yosemite Valley, as a safety precaution.

Some evacuations have been ordered in rural communities. State Route 140 into the park has been closed.

Cal Fire says Heavy Fire Equipment Operator Braden Varney was driving a bulldozer when he died Saturday.

Investigators are working to determine further circumstances surrounding his death. They believe he was working his way out of the fire area when he was killed.

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