Former SD state firefighter killed in Arizona fire

The South Dakota Division of Wildland Fire has learned that Kevin Woyjeck, 21, former member of the Bear Mountain Hand Crew, was fatally injured on the Yarnell Fire in Arizona on June 30. Woyjeck was serving with the elite Granite Mountain Type I Crew at the time of his death.

Woyjeck served on the Bear Mountain Crew based in Rapid City and Custer State Park from November 2011 to late August 2012. Woyjeck left the Bear Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack Crew to resume college studies in fire science at his home in Southern California.

Dale Deuter, a retired Division of Wildland Fire Crew Boss, said, “Kevin was an overachiever in everything he did in the world of firefighting. He was an excellent sawyer who felled many trees in Custer State Park during the current Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic. He was a friend to all on the crew and well-liked by everyone.”

Woyjeck served on many wildland fire assignments in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming during the arduous 2012 fire season.

“Kevin wanted to be a professional firefighter and that was his goal in life,” said Chris Blair, handcrew program supervisor, South Dakota Division of Wildland Fire. “We were excited for him when we received word that he was selected by the Granite Mountain ‘Shot Crew’ for the 2013 fire season.”

Funeral and memorial service arrangements are still pending at this time.


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