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HotShot killed in AZ eulogized in his CA hometown

HEMET, Calif. — One of the 19 firefighters killed when a windblown wildfire overcame them in Arizona has been eulogized in a memorial service in his Southern California hometown.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports about 2,000 people gathered in Hemet's Ramona Bowl to remember 30-year-old Chris MacKenzie.

He was one of the members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who were killed fighting a wildfire north of Phoenix on June 30.

Friends said he was a lover of the outdoors who had an infectious smile and an "uncanny ability to lighten the mood."

MacKenzie was followed his father — a former California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection captain in Moreno Valley — into firefighting.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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