The University of Arizona on Tuesday confirmed one of the firefighters killed battling the Yarnell Fire was an alumnus.

Garret Zuppiger, 27, transferred to the UA from Pima Community College during the summer of 2006, studied business economics at the UA's Eller College, the UA said in a news release. He graduated in 2008.

Zuppiger, a native of Arizona, was outgoing and interested in environmental issues, the UA news release says.

Zuppiger loved to be funny, said Tony Burris, a trainer at a gym where many of the Hotshots worked out,according to an Associated Press news article Tuesday.

Burris said the two bonded over their manly ginger facial hair.

“We both had a red beard and so we would always admire each other’s beards,” he said. “We also had a few conversations about beer.”

He earned an Arizona general education curriculum-arts degree in liberal arts from Pima Community College in 2006, the college said.

Zuppiger’s humor was evident on his blog, where he wrote about his grandmother’s one-eyed Chihuahua, his “best hair day ever” and a hike with his mother on Camelback Mountain in Phoenix. There also are photos of a tongue-in-cheek project to build a “ski-chair,” in which a living room recliner was placed atop two skis.

“Garret Zuppiger turns 25!” he wrote in a post several years ago. “Everyday is like a gift!!”

Senior Editor, News, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Az.