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MARIPOSA, Calif. — A wildfire that killed a California firefighter grew quickly and forced the closure of a key route into Yosemite National Park as crews contended with sweltering conditions Sunday, authorities said. The blaze that broke out Friday scorched more than 6 square miles of dry brush along steep, remote hillsides on the park’s western edge.

It was burning largely out of control, and officials shut off electricity to many areas, including Yosemite Valley, as a safety precaution.

The article goes on to state the following:

Guests were ordered to leave Yosemite Cedar Lodge on Saturday as flames crept up slopes and the air became thick with smoke.

Evacuations also were ordered in rural communities just outside the park, and people in nearby lodges and motels were told to be ready to leave if flames approach. A stretch of State Route 140 into Yosemite was closed, and motorists were urged to find alternate routes.

Spiking temperatures and inaccessible terrain was making it difficult for crews to slow the flames, U.S. Forest Service fire Capt. Mike Seymour said.

According to the report, heavy fire equipment operator Braden Varney, 36, died early Saturday while driving a bulldozer to create a gap in vegetation meant to keep the flames contained. Varney’s body may not be retrieved until Monday, as it’s in a “precarious location.”

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