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Motorcade route has changed

Procession will lead to memorial service for two firefighters with local connections who were killed in Arizona blaze.

July 16, 2013|By Lauren Williams

The route for the motorcade preceding a Newport Beach memorial service for two Arizona firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill wildfire has changed, an official said.

Originally, the motorcade was to move along Harbor Boulevard in Costa Mesa to Newport Boulevard, eventually making its way to St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, where a memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday.

The new route will begin at Harbor Lawn-Mt. Olive Memorial Park & Mortuary at Gisler Avenue and Harbor Boulevard, and travel to the church via the 405 and 73 freeways, exiting at Irvine Avenue, according to the Costa Mesa Fire Department's interim fire chief, Fred Seguin.

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He said memorial organizers changed the route to increase safety and ease of management.

Organizers welcome community members to line the streets of Irvine Avenue before the memorial for cousins Grant McKee, 21, and Robert Caldwell, 23, who were among the 19 Granite Mountain hotshots killed in the Yarnell Hill wildfire in Arizona. Their grandmother is a 40-year resident of Costa Mesa.

McKee attended Newport Harbor High School before moving to Arizona in his senior year.

The Granite Mountain hotshot crew buggy, the vehicle that transports firefighters from base camp to emergencies, will be part of the procession, Seguin said.

Newport Beach police are expected to direct traffic and help set up temporary road closures and restrictive parking, said Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella.

Police department volunteers and explorers will also help with logistics, Manzella said.

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