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The Latest: Firefighter killed fighting blaze near Yosemite

July 14, 2018

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a wildfire burning near Yosemite National Park (all times local):

1:10 p.m.

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 morning while battling the Ferguson Fire.

No other details about his death were released.

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.

Fire officials say Varney is survived by his wife and two small children.

They said the fire had burned about 130 acres (52.61 hectares) by Saturday afternoon.

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11:40 a.m.

A wildfire burning near the west end of Yosemite National Park and the Sierra National Forest has closed a thoroughfare in the area.

Officials said Saturday that Highway 140 was closed from Midpines to El Portal due to the wildfire.

The fire began Friday evening. Officials at Sierra National Forest tweeted that it had burned about 130 acres (52.61 hectares) by Saturday afternoon.

The National Parks Service said visitors planning to travel from Mariposa or Merced should use an alternate route.

They said power in Yosemite Valley had also been affected because power lines had been turned off as firefighters work to quell the blaze.

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