Two fallen Arizona firefighters being transported to California

The remains of two Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters killed in an Arizona blaze were being flown back to California on Wednesday.

The bodies of Christopher MacKenzie and Kevin Woyjeck will be transported to the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, where they will be met by family and firefighters wishing to pay respects.

“There are various traditions associated with the fire service. One of them is when they lose someone in the line of duty, everybody gathers around,” said Carroll Wills, communications director for the California Fire Foundation.


The plane, a National Guard C-130, is expected to land at 1 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Hearses will transport the remains of the two men from the base.

Cal Fire and the United States Forest Service will escort MacKenzie, 30, by way of a procession to a mortuary in his hometown of Hemet, according to a Cal Fire news release. MacKenzie is the son of retired Cal Fire Capt. Mike MacKenzie.

A memorial service in his honor will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Ramona Bowl Ampitheater in Hemet.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department will escort Woyjeck, 21, to Long Beach, Wills said. Woyjeck’s father, Capt. Joe Woyjeck, serves with the department.

A memorial service for Woyjeck is being planned in Long Beach for July 19, said Inspector Anthony Akins, public information officer for the L.A. County Fire Department.

The families of MacKenzie and Woyjeck requested their sons be transported back as soon as possible, Wills said.

Three others on the team also hailed from California.

Sean Misner, 26, will be transported by ground later this week, Wills said.

Grant McKee, 21, and Robert Caldwell, 23, will be buried in Arizona, according to Wills, but a private memorial for the cousins will be held July 20 in Newport Beach.

Thousands attended a ceremony in Prescott Valley on Tuesday in honor of all 19 firefighters who died together.


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