U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz expressed his condolences today after learning that two of the 19 firefighters who died in an Arizona wildfire had ties to Hemet.
“I am devastated by the loss of Chris MacKenzie and Billy Warneke,” Ruiz said in a statement.
“Our entire community and country is grieving for them today. Both of these men, along with the other 17 firefighters who lost their lives battling the Arizona wildfire, were heroic public servants and upstanding members of the communities they gave their lives to serve.
“I will do everything I can to ensure their families have the support and resources they need from my office and the federal government. My thoughts and prayers are with their family and friends as they cope with this terrible tragedy.”
The Arizona blaze is believed to be the worst wildfire tragedy since the 1933 Griffith Park Fire in Los Angeles, when 29 firemen died.
Ruiz, a Palm Desert Democrat, represents the 36th Congressional District, which spans west to Hemet.