Names of firefighters killed in Yarnell Hill Fire released
4 ex-Southern Californians among dead
Last Updated: 163 days ago
LOS ANGELES - Four of the 19 Arizona firefighters killed fighting a wildfire on Sunday had roots in California.
The principal and football coach at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School say 2005 graduate Sean Misner is among the fallen firefighters. The 26-year-old Misner leaves a pregnant wife.
Former Moreno Valley, Calif., fire Capt. Michael MacKenzie of Spring City, Tenn., confirms his 30-year-old son Chris also was killed. Chris MacKenzie, a former Hemet, Calif., firefighter, joined the U.S. Forest Service in 2004 and moved to the Prescott Fire Department about two years ago.
Members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department are mourning 21-year-old Kevin Woyjeck, who was the son of veteran county fire Capt. Joe Woyjeck.
Another former Hemet resident killed with his fellow Hotshots was 25-year-old Billy Warneke, whose wife, Roxanne, is expecting their first child in December.
The other crew members killed in the fire:
-- Andrew Ashcraft, 29
-- Anthony Rose, 23
-- Eric Marsh, 43
-- Robert Caldwell, 23
-- Clayton Whitted , 28
-- Scott Norris, 28
-- Dustin Deford, 24
-- Garret Zuppiger, 27
-- Travis Carter, 31
-- Grant McKee, 21
-- Travis Turbyfill, 27
-- Jesse Steed, 36
-- Wade Parker, 22
-- Joe Thurston, 32
-- John Percin, 24
Wind shift may have preceded deaths of crew members
Cal Fire officials told 10News that Sunday's monsoonal winds likely swiftly shifted, leading to the deaths of 19 elite firefighters in Prescott, Ariz.
Cal Fire Capt. Mike Mohler told 10News said the crew could not simply turn and try to outrun the flames due to the fire's speed.
"During the Cedar Fire (in 2003), I was on the [Interstate] 15 freeway on an engine going almost 45 mph with a Santa Ana wind-driven fire, and the fire was outrunning us," Mohler said.
The fast-moving flames were only one likely problem though.
Mohler said the Prescott area, much like San Diego, hasn't had a big fire in years, so the fuels are thick and tall. When the area burned Sunday, Mohler said the flames were much taller than the shelters and burned hotter.
For that reason, within seconds, the 19 crew members likely realized they didn't stand a chance.
Mohler told 10News firefighters who have survived sheltering in place say the temperatures inside can quickly reach several hundred degrees.
"It's tenable, but to the point where their skin was starting to blister," said Mohler.
Copyright AP contributed to this report