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Chris MacKenzie Obituary

Chris MacKenzie (Image via NBC 7 San Diego)
Chris MacKenzie (Image via NBC 7 San Diego)
'JUST LIKE HIS DAD'

An avid snowboarder, 30-year-old Chris 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. Michael MacKenzie, a former Moreno Valley Fire Department captain, confirmed that he had been informed of his son's death.

"I can't talk about it," he said.

Fulford-Brown, also a former firefighter, feared for the worst as soon as he heard the news of the Arizona firefighters. "I said, 'Oh my God, that's Chris' crew.' I started calling him and calling him and got no answer," he told The Press-Enterprise. MacKenzie, he said, "lived life to the fullest ... and was fighting fire just like his dad."

"He was finishing his credentials to get promoted and loved the people. It's an insane tragedy.

Contributing to this report were AP reporters Raquel Maria Dillon in Seal Beach, Calif., Sue Manning in Los Angeles and Hannah Dreier in Prescott.


Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Published in The Arizona Republic from July 1 to July 31, 2013
Firefighter Christopher MacKenzie, 30, was killed June 30, 2013, while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire near Prescott, Ariz. Read Obituary

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