Inland Empire News

Memorial service held for fallen AZ firefighter in Hemet

Sunday, July 14, 2013
Chris MacKenzie, 30, is shown in this undated file photo provided by his family. MacKenzie was one of 19 firefighters who were killed battling a wildfire near Yarnell, Ariz.

Chris MacKenzie, 30, is shown in this undated file photo provided by his family. MacKenzie was one of 19 firefighters who were killed battling a wildfire near Yarnell, Ariz. (KABC Photo)

Family and friends of Christopher MacKenzie, one of the firefighters killed while battling an Arizona wildfire, celebrated his life during a memorial service in Hemet.

The service was held Saturday at the Ramona Bowl Amphitheater.

MacKenzie and 18 other firefighters died on June 30 when they were overrun by the Yarnell Hill Fire near Phoenix.

An avid snowboarder, MacKenzie grew up in California's San Jacinto Valley, where he was a 2001 graduate of Hemet High School and a former member of the town's fire department.

He joined the U.S. Forest Service in 2004, then transferred two years ago to the Prescott Fire Department, longtime friend Dav Fulford-Brown told The Riverside Press-Enterprise.

MacKenzie, like at least one other member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, had followed his father into firefighting.

The victim's remains arrived home Wednesday along with those of 21-year-old firefighter Kevin Woyjeck of Seal Beach. Woyjeck's funeral will be held Tuesday morning in Long Beach.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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