An avid snowboarder, 30-year-old Chris MacKenzie grew up in California’s San Jacinto Valley, where he was a 2001 graduate of Hemet High School and a former member of the town’s fire department.
He joined the U.S. Forest Service in 2004, then transferred two years ago to the Prescott Fire Department, longtime friend Dav Fulford-Brown told The Riverside Press-Enterprise.
MacKenzie had followed his father into firefighting.
Michael MacKenzie is a former Moreno Valley Fire Department captain.
Fulford-Brown, also a former firefighter, feared for the worst as soon as he heard the news of the Arizona firefighters.
“I said, ‘Oh my God, that’s Chris’ crew.’ I started calling him and calling him and got no answer,” he told The Press-Enterprise.
MacKenzie, he said, “lived life to the fullest ... and was fighting fire just like his dad.”
“He was finishing his credentials to get promoted and loved the people. It’s an insane tragedy.”