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Arizona wildfire: Local firefighters to attend memorial for hot shot crew

July 09, 2013
  • A procession carrying 19 firefighters in separate hearses make there way into Prescott during a procession from Phoenix Sunday.
A procession carrying 19 firefighters in separate hearses… (Wally Skalij / Los…)

Firefighters from Burbank, Glendale and L.A. County stations in La Cañada Flintridge will be attending a memorial service today in Prescott, Ariz. to honor 19 Granite Mountain hotshots who died battling a wind-driven wildfire on June 30.

About 300 L.A. County firefighters alone were scheduled to be in Prescott for the service at 11 a.m., according to the department.

Among them would be firefighters from both county stations in La Cañada Flintridge, where officials last week recognized the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew, which assisted with the massive Station fire in 2009.

“We’re a giant firefighting family, whether we’re in the same area or another part of the county,” said Mark Savage, Los Angeles County battalion chief for Station 82. He was the lead information officer during the massive blaze that tore through the Angeles National Forest.

“It’s a tragic loss and there is a large group from our department going,” he said.

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Five members of the Burbank Fire Department were en route to Prescott Monday afternoon, said fire Capt. Peter Hendrickson.

From Glendale Fire, nine members -- including firefighters, ambulance operators and Deputy Chief Robert Doyle – would also be attending the memorial, according to Battalion Chief Tom Propst.

Savage said many firefighters are attending the memorial to support Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Joe Woyjeck, whose son, Kevin Woyjeck, perished in the Arizona fire.

“Our main goal is to not only support the member of our department who has lost his son, but support all the families and friends who have lost loved ones,” Savage added.

Staff writers Alene Tchekmedyian and Veronica Rocha contributed reporting.

-- Jason Wells and Tiffany Kelly, jason.wells@latimes.com

Follow on Facebook, Google+ and on Twitter: @JasonBretWells.

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