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Procession to Modesto will honor bulldozer operator killed in Mariposa wildfire

The remains of Braden Varney, the bulldozer operator killed in a Mariposa County wildfire Saturday, will travel to Modesto in a procession Monday.

The public is invited to view the procession, made up of fire and other vehicles, as it makes its way to the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office. It was scheduled to leave Mariposa at 3:45 p.m. and arrive in Modesto at a time to be determined.

The procession will pass by the Highway 49 headquarters of Cal Fire’s Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit, then head down Highway 140 to Merced. It then will take Highway 99 to Mitchell Road, which becomes Oakdale Road in Modesto. The coroner is at 921 Oakdale Road.

Varney was killed while clearing vegetation near the Ferguson Fire, along Highway 140.

A gofundme page has been started to raise money for his wife and two young children.

“Please continue to keep Braden, his loved ones and all responders on the front lines in your thoughts and prayers as they continue to work under extremely challenging conditions,” Cal Fire said in a news release.

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