Eric Marsh, 43

Eric Marsh was the supervisor of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and the oldest of the men. He had worked as a firefighter “on and off for 20 years,” his father, John Marsh, said.

Mr. Marsh joined the Hotshots nine years ago and helped turn it into the ambitious group it became. He wanted the crew to be certified to travel anywhere in the country when they were needed.

Raised in North Carolina, Mr. Marsh was initially interested in becoming a firefighter because he liked working in nature. Over the years, he grew to love it.

“He liked the outdoors, and that’s an outdoor job,” his father said.

In a video interview with a local newspaper in 2010, Mr. Marsh talked about the team’s preparation as footage played of the firefighters hiking in heavy gear.

“We do lots of different types of training — physical training where we run, we hike, and other sorts of aerobic activity,” he said. “That gets us in shape for hiking the hills, basically.”

— EMMA G. FITZSIMMONS
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Eric Marsh