TWO OF THE FIREFIGHTERS KILLED IN ARIZONA SUNDAY HAD AREA TIES

Posted 10 months ago

By John Axtell

Kevin Woyjeck

Kevin Woyjeck

Two of the 19 firefighters from Arizona-based elite hot shot crew killed Sunday in Arizona had ties to this region.

Dustin Deford

Dustin Defordto this region.

Kevin Woyjeck served on a crew based in Rapid City and Custer State Park from November 2011 to August 2012 that fought fires in Nebraska and Wyoming as well as South Dakota, while Dustin Deford graduated from Cornerstone Bible Institute in Hot Springs three years ago.

Members of other hot shot crews, so-called because they go into the hottest parts of fires, say the Arizona tragedy is a reality check.

Eric Boe is a member of the Rapid City-based Black Hat Hand Crew, which just rotated home afer 2 weeks on fires in Arizona. He told KOTA-TV in  Rapid City that the possibility of dying on the job makes firefighters think of their loved ones.