Fire explorers raise money, honor fallen hotshot during fishing tournament in Long Beach

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- In the early morning hours, 100 people headed out on a fishing trip to honor a fallen hero.

It was the 5th annual Kevin Woyjeck Fishing Tournament off the coast of Long Beach. Woyjeck was one of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who died in 2013 while battling the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona.

The sold-out event supports the Kevin Woyjeck Explorers for Life Association. Kevin Woykeck grew up in Seal Beach and would often fish off the shores of Long Beach as a kid.

Fire Explorers help youths become first responders by assisting them financially and providing equipment. So far, the association has donated $220,000 in scholarships and fire equipment, including more than 400 helmets to fire explorers across the U.S.

This year's tournament winner hauled in a 22-pound yellowtail. The tournament is one of the main fundraising events for the association, raising close to $25,000.

The tournament is held every year around Kevin Woyjeck's birthday. He would have been 27.