Firefighters killed battling Yarnell Hill Fire identified

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- Prescott officials have released the names of the 19 firefighters killed Sunday battling the Yarnell Hill Fire.

The Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives are:

- Andrew Ashcraft, 29
- Robert Caldwell, 23
- Travis Carter, 31
- Dustin Deford, 24
- Christopher MacKenzie, 30
- Eric Marsh, 43
- Grant McKee, 21
- Sean Misner, 26
- Scott Norris, 28
- Wade Parker, 22
- John Percin, 24
- Anthony Rose, 23
- Jesse Steed, 36
- Joe Thurston, 32
- Travis Turbyfill, 27
- William Warneke, 25 (No relation to April Warnecke)
- Clayton Whitted, 28
- Kevin Woyjeck, 21
- Garret Zuppiger, 27

"They're heroes; they died heroes," said Juliann Ashcraft, Andrew Ashcraft's widow. "They were heroes in our homes, heroes in our community. They're real people with real families, too, and we love and miss them."

Ashcraft leaves behind four young children.

"He fought fires in California, Alaska, Hawaii, Florida," said Roger Federwisch, Jesse Steed's uncle. "He was a hero to the nation."

Families said they understood the dangers involved in their loved ones' line of work.

"It's not unimaginable," Federwisch said. "These guys were heroes and how do you tell a hero to be safe?"

The remains of the firefighters were taken to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office in a special procession Monday.

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Monday at 9 p.m. at the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office at 701 W. Jefferson St. in Phoenix. The public is invited to attend. Gather underneath the flags on the west side of the ME building. 

The date, time and location for a formal memorial service will be forthcoming.

The lightning-caused fire started Friday afternoon and has grown to more than 8,000 acres. It is burning approximately 30 miles southwest of Prescott, off Highway 89.