Section of 405 Fwy in Seal Beach named after firefighter killed in Yarnell Hill Fire


A section of the 405 Freeway in Seal Beach will now be known as the Kevin Woyjeck Memorial Highway to celebrate the life of a firefighter who died in one of the deadliest wildfires in U.S. history.

“The state of California has recognized the value of one of our firefighter family, who lived here in Seal Beach, to say thank you for the loss, to thank his family,” said Jeff Bowman of the Orange County Fire Authority.

Woyjeck, 21, was one of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots killed in Arizona’s horrific Yarnell Hill Fire back in June of 2013.

The elite group of wildland firefighters were fighting the fire when there was a shift in the winds, and they were trapped by a wall of flames.

“I can say that it’s been a tough three years but as any incident, there’s been some positives,” said Chief Darell Osby. “We’ve learned from the incident how to ensure that we provide better safety for firefighters…”

The family has started a non-profit foundation to help young fire explorers become first responders.

“To have people show up midday, mid-week to an event like this brought tears to our eyes and warmth to our heart,” said father Joe Woyjeck.

He added that he wants to remember all the brave men who died that day. His son was part of a team and together, they were doing a job they had to do.

(Copyright ©2016 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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