Middle Panels

The middle panels are carefully painted portraits of each of the 19 fallen hotshots. Each is 30 inches by 30 inches, and they are placed in no specific order. These are the names in order on the mural (from top left to right): Anthony Rose, Andrew Ashcraft, Scott Norris, Travis Carter, Dustin DeFord, Clayton Whitted, Kevin Woyjeck, Travis Turbyfill, Christopher MacKenzie, Sean Misner, Jesse Steed, Garret Zuppiger, Grant McKee, Robert Caldwell, John Percin Jr., Wade Parker, William Warneke, Joe Thurston, Eric Marsh, and Brendan McDonough.

The 20th hotshot here, the one with the purple background, is Brendan McDonough (“Donut” as his brothers called him). The artist used the purple background behind McDonough for two reasons: so that he would be set apart as the sole survivor and because purple is the color that represents wildland firefighters. The artist felt it important to include McDonough in the mural because he too is a hero. Since surviving the loss of his brothers, McDonough has become a public speaker and works with numerous nonprofits that support veterans, police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical services. His courage to find support at his weakest moment has inspired others to find their tribes of support. Building a sense of brotherhood within communities gives McDonough great joy because it allows him to honor the legacy of his 19 lost brothers.

Looking at the bottom right-hand corner of the portraits, there is a painting of one of the hotshots’ fire trucks, which they called “buggies.” The hotshots traveled both locally and nationally fighting wildfires in two buggies, a superintendent truck, and a chase truck. While the buggies and pick-up trucks were used to store and transport equipment, tools, backpacks, personal gear, fuel, and drip torches to and from wildfires, they were also the place where the hotshots slept, told jokes, listened to music, and bonded. Also in this segment of the mural are the words “Esse Quam Videri,” a Latin phrase meaning: “To be, rather than to seem.” This was the motto for the hotshots, which speaks to their commitment to genuineness and integrity: “Don’t pretend to be something that you are not.” The buggy and this motto were two things that all the hotshots shared and is the reason for including these items in this section of the mural alongside their portraits.