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Hemet Firefighters Donate Funds To Families Of Local Fallen Hotshot Crew Members

HEMET ( — The Hemet Firefighters Association Tuesday voted to give community funds to the families of two firefighters killed battling a wildfire in Arizona.

"We need some immediate financial assistance for the families," Steve Sandefer said.

The union also voted to match funds from their own pockets for the families of Chris MacKenzie and Billy Warneke.

Both men, originally from Hemet, were killed Sunday along with 17 other Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew members in the fast-moving Yarnell Fire.

MacKenzie, 30, was on the football team at Hemet High School and graduated in 2001. He joined the U.S. Forest Service in 2004, and had moved to Prescott two years ago.

Warneke, 25, was a former Marines who completed one tour of duty in Iraq. His wife is expected to deliver the couple's first child in December.

Seal Beach native, 21-year-old Kevin Woyjeck, and 21-year-old Grant McKee, who also had ties to Southern California, were also killed in the wildfire.

To donate money to help any of the families of the 19 firefighters killed, click here.

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