The California fire service is mourning the loss of 19 of the profession’s best and brightest who fell in the Yarnell Hills Fire in central Arizona. But for some, the pain is intensely personal.
Five California natives were among the Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters who died in the catastrophic Yarnell Hills Fire. Individual memorial services were held around the state to honor the lives of the five heroic firefighters with California roots. Follow the link in each name for the latest on their memorial services.
- Kevin Woyjeck, 21, was the son of 30-year veteran LA County Fire Captain Joe Woyjeck. The memorial service for Kevin is scheduled for Tuesday, July 16th at 11AM at Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove.
- Chris MacKenzie, 30, grew up in Hemet and sought to follow in his dad’s footsteps, retired CAL FIRE Captain Michael MacKenzie. The memorial service for Christopher MacKenzie will take place on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 6:00PM at the Ramona Bowl Ampitheater, 27400 Ramona Bowl Road, Hemet, CA 92544.
- Billy Warneke, 25, also grew up in Hemet and served four years in the Marine Corps, including a tour of duty in Iraq. He and his wife Roxanne were expecting their first child in December. Billy was memorialized and buried on Wednesday, July 10 in Marana, AZ.
- Sean Misner, 26, was also expecting a child in the fall. Misner grew up in Santa Ynez, in Santa Barbara County. The memorial service for Sean Misner will be held Monday, July 15, 2013 from 7-9pm at Santa Ynez High School in the football stadium, 2975 East Highway 246 Santa Ynez, California 93460.
- Grant McKee, 21, was from Orange County and attended Newport Harbor High School until 11th grade. McKee got the job with the Hotshots through his cousin, Robert Caldwell, who also died in the Yarnell Hills Fire. A private memorial service will be held for the two cousins on July 20, 2013.
On Wednesday, July 10, 2013, fallen firefighters with California roots were flown home from Arizona to the Golden State aboard a National Guard C-130. A Memorial Ramp Ceremony upon their arrival gave California firefighters the opportunity for the California fire service to pay its respects to those who paid the ultimate price.