New film “Only the Brave” touches on tragic deaths of Seal Beach (and Griffin alum) firefighter and Granite Mountain Hotshots

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The new film “Only the Brave” is the story of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who fought and died during the 2013 Yarnell Hill fire in Arizona, one of the deadliest U.S. wildfires in recent memory.

The Hotshots were a Prescott, Arizona based elite crew of firefighters.  Their members included Seal Beach firefighter Kevin Woyjeck, a 2010 Los Al Griffin alum, died fighting the fire.   Kevin’s parents Joe and Anna Woyjeck said they had felt anxious about the film for years, worrying the events of the fire would be sensationalized.

“Typically, firefighting movies are not close to reality,” said Joe , who recently retired as a captain after 35 years with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Woyjeck said he and his wife attended the screening and thought the movie captured what firefighters do. The younger Woyjeck is portrayed by Michael McNulty, who consulted with the family about Kevin’s personality and how he carried himself. Based on that, McNulty wore Kaenon sunglasses, a Los Angeles Angels baseball cap and a G-shock watch in the film, Joe Woyjeck said.

Last year, Woyjeck was honored when a stretch of one of America’s busiest interchanges, where the I-405 meets the 22 and I-605, was named Kevin Woyjeck Memorial Highway.

The filmmakers have started a Granite Mountain Fund that will benefit firefighters including a few that will help the Granite Mountain Hotshots. They are the Eric Marsh Foundation, Wildland Firefighter Foundation, Prescott Firefighter’s Charities, California Firefighters Foundation, Carry the Load and the Kevin Woyjeck Explorers Foundation.

 

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