1 firefighter killed as deadly Ferguson Fire expands to over 12,500 acres in California

More than 1,450 emergency personnel are still working to contain the massive wildfire near California's Yosemite National Park that took a deadly turn after igniting over the weekend.

The Ferguson Fire grew quickly overnight and has exploded to 12,525 acres since it began on the evening of July 13 in Mariposa County. It is only 5 percent contained as of Tuesday. Cal Fire, the United States Forest Service and the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office are collaborating in order to tackle the blaze.

Cal Fire Heavy Fire Equipment Operator Braden Varney was killed on July 14 in the Sierra National Forest while working the wildfire, according to Cal Fire officials.

Varney lost his life when his bulldozer rolled over, CNN reported. Officials recovered his body on July 16.

A mandatory evacuation order is in place for areas near the blaze, and emergency authorities have urged residents to leave the area quickly and cautiously. At least 100 homes are under threat, but as of Tuesday, no structures have been damaged nor destroyed.

See more related to this story:

18 PHOTOS
California wildfires 2018
See Gallery
California wildfires 2018
A firefighter watches flames advance up a hill towards homes as crews battle the Carr Fire, west of Redding, California, U.S. July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves
REDDING, CA - JULY 27: A firefighter uses a drip torch to light a backfire while battling the larger Carr Fire on July 27, 2018 in Redding, California. A firefighter was killed battling the fast moving Carr Fire which has burned over 28,000 acres and destroyed dozens of homes. The fire is reportedly only 6 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
REDDING, CA - JULY 27: A firefighter monitors a backfire while battling the larger Carr Fire on July 27, 2018 in Redding, California. A firefighter was killed battling the fast moving Carr Fire which has burned over 28,000 acres and destroyed dozens of homes. The fire is reportedly only 6 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
REDDING, CA - JULY 27: Firefighters monitor a backfire while battling the larger Carr Fire on July 27, 2018 in Redding, California. A firefighter was killed battling the fast moving Carr Fire which has burned over 28,000 acres and destroyed dozens of homes. The fire is reportedly only 6 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A firefighter watches flames advance up a hill towards homes as crews battle the Carr Fire, west of Redding, California, U.S. July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves
REDDING, CA - JULY 27: An orange glow from the Carr Fire lights up burnt trees as the fire burns through dry brush on July 27, 2018 in Redding, California. A firefighter was killed battling the fast moving Carr Fire which has burned over 28,000 acres and destroyed dozens of homes. The fire is reportedly only 6 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Santa Barbara County Firefighter spray water on flames at a home at the site of a wildfire in Goleta, California, U.S., July 6, 2018 in this image released on social media. Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.
Santa Barbara County Firefighter spray water on flames at a home at the site of a wildfire in Goleta, California, U.S., July 6, 2018 in this image released on social media. Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.
GOLETA, CA - JULY 07: Firefighters spray foam on the remains of a destroyed home in the aftermath of the Holiday Fire on July 7, 2018 in Goleta, California. The fire destroyed a number of homes in the community during an intense heat wave which broke various records across Southern California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
GOLETA, CA - JULY 7: Wildfire destroy homes in Goleta, Calif., on July 7, 2018. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
GOLETA, CA - JULY 7: Wildfire destroy homes in Goleta, Calif., on July 7, 2018. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
GOLETA, CA - JULY 7: Embers from a burning home rises up in the air after a wildfire sweeps through Goleta, Calif., on July 7, 2018. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
GOLETA, CA - JULY 7: Wildfire destroy homes in Goleta, Calif., on July 7, 2018. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
GOLETA, CA - JULY 7: Firefighters work to contain a structure fire as wildfire spreads along North Fairview Ave, in Goleta, Calif., on July 7, 2018. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
GOLETA, CA - JULY 7: A firefighter waits for water to be pumped before he can begin working to contain a structure fire as wildfire spreads along North Fairview Ave, in Goleta, Calif., on July 7, 2018. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
GOLETA, CA - JULY 7: Firefighters work to contain a structure fire as wildfire spreads along North Fairview Ave, in Goleta, Calif., on July 7, 2018. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Hot Shot crews from Mendocino, Calif., use backfires to help contain the County fire along Highway 129 near Lake Berryessa in Yolo County, Calif., on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/TN)
Hot Shot crews from Mendocino, Calif., use backfires to help contain the County fire along Highway 129 near Lake Berryessa in Yolo County, Calif., on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. (Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee/TN)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The cause of the Ferguson Fire is still unknown.

The vegetation fire continues to impact homes and businesses in the State Route 140 corridor as the fire spreads south and east toward Jerseydale, Mariposa Pines and Yosemite West, according to officials.

"Very steep terrain makes it difficult to insert crews in certain areas of the fire," officials stated in a Tuesday morning update.

Firefighters will have to contend with scorching daytime heat while battling the blaze. Hot weather will continue in the area for the foreseeable future, with daytime highs above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark. Conditions will remain dry through Wednesday.

"The addition of a little monsoon moisture from the southeast Thursday and Friday brings the chance of an afternoon thunderstorm," Clark said. "However, whatever occurs will be very scattered and more likely at a higher elevation than the fire."

"Winds, except those generated by the fire itself, will not be a major factor," he added.

The deadly blaze and a closed stretch of State Route 140 hasn't stopped some tourists from braving the smoke and hiking in Yosemite National Park, which remains open.

Read Full Story