Deadly Fire Grows Near Yosemite Park

Deadly Fire Grows Near Yosemite Park

MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) -- 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.

(KA)