Alva Review-Courier -

Bulldozer drivers fighting fires get 'a rush' but also risk


August 2, 2018

REDDING, Calif. (AP) — Not all firefighters carry a hose or shovel.

The adrenaline junkies who steer heavy bulldozers across steep ridges face serious hazards, from smoke and flames but also from unsteady dirt and steep terrain that can flip them over. The deaths of two bulldozer operators battling California wildfires in July highlighted the dangers confronting these less visible firefighters.

Braden Varney, 36, was clearing a fire line near Yosemite National Park on July 14 when his vehicle overturned and rolled down a ridge. Don Ray Smith, 81, was overtaken by wildfire near Redding las...

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