HEMET, Calif. — One of the 19 firefighters killed when a windblown wildfire overcame them in Arizona has been eulogized in a memorial service in his Southern California hometown.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports about 2,000 people gathered in Hemet’s Ramona Bowl to remember 30-year-old Chris MacKenzie.
He was one of the members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who were killed fighting a wildfire north of Phoenix on June 30.
Friends said he was a lover of the outdoors who had an infectious smile and an “uncanny ability to lighten the mood.”
MacKenzie was followed his father — a former California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection captain in Moreno Valley — into firefighting.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.