Arizona wildfire: L.A. firefighters to attend memorial service

L.A. County Fire Chief Daryl Osby, right, talks about Kevin Woyjeck during a news conference last week.
(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Hundreds of Los Angeles-area firefighters will be in Prescott, Ariz., on Tuesday to attend a memorial service in honor of the 19 Granite Mountain hotshots who perished battling a fast-moving wildfire.

About 200 firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department will leave in buses early Tuesday to attend the service. They will be joining 100 county firefighters already in Prescott, the department said Monday.

The Los Angeles Fire Department is sending a fire engine and Suburban for the memorial service, an agency spokesman said. At least 30 off-duty LAFD firefighters will be attending the service.


PHOTOS: Yarnell Hill fire

The bodies of the 19 firefighters killed combating the Yarnell Hill blaze that burned through about 8,400 acres in central-west Arizona were released from the Maricopa County medical examiner’s office in Phoenix on Sunday. Crowds gathered amid triple-digit heat to pay their respects to the fallen heroes.

Five members of the elite firefighting team grew up in California. Among them were Kevin Woyjeck, 21, of Seal Beach. He was hoping to follow the path of his father, Joe Woyjeck, an L.A. County Fire Department captain.

At a news conference last week, L.A. County Fire Chief Daryl Osby struggled to hold back tears. “But I also have solace in knowing that Kevin was doing what he truly enjoyed and that was being a firefighter,” Osby told reporters.

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Twitter: @LAJourno