Travis Carter was one of the 19 brave firefighters who gave their life trying to stop the Yarnell Hill Fire near Prescott, Arizona. The elite group, known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots, were specially trained to hike miles into rough terrain to fight forest fires, and no one in the group was more physically fit than 31-year-old Travis Carter, a native of Kirkland, Arizona.
Here is what you need to know about this fallen hero:
1. He Was a Fitness Master
Travis Carter was known for his fitness and his strength. Carter's claim to fame was supposedly holding a plank, hard for a normal person to do for longer than a minute, for 45 minutes.
2. He Worked out at Captain Cross Fit
Carter was a regular at the Captain Crossfit gym in Prescott, Arizona. Janine Pereira, who knew him, said in an interview, "No one could beat him, but the thing about him, was he would never brag about it. He would just kill everyone and then go and start helping someone else finish."
He was such a friend to the others who frequented the gym that the group came in their workout clothes to visit the makeshift memorial that popped up outside the Granite Mountain Hotshots Station 7 in Prescott, Arizona.
3. He Made Grueling Workouts for the Crew
One of the more recent recollections from those who knew Carter was the Hotshots' going on a grueling 5-mile run during wilderness training. Then, immediately after the run, Carter forced the guys to go with him to his gym, where he subjected them to an even harder workout.
4. He Had a Wife and Two Children
Carter had a wife, Krista, and two young children, Brayden, 6, and Brielle, 3. Krista Carter reflected earlier this week on how the two met while she was working at a cosmetics counter at Dillard's department store:
He just came up and talked to me. Everybody said it wasn't like him because he was incredibly shy. He still did not have an answer as to why he did it, to this day.
5. Only the Most Elite Can Be on a Hotshot Crew
The Hotshots are like the Navy SEALs of firefighters. Inter-agency Hotshot crews are groups that specialize in going into fire areas on foot and clearing swaths in the fire's path to starve it of fuel and prevent its spread.
The role of the Hotshot is described as:
The name was in reference to being in the hottest part of fires. Their specialty is wildfire suppression, but they are sometimes assigned other jobs, including search and rescue and disaster response assistance. Hotshots not busy fighting fire will also work to meet resource goals on their home units through thinning, prescribed fire implementation, habitat improvement or trail construction projects.
Crews often need to hike many miles to get to the areas where they will be working, carry all of their supplies on their back, and often work over 12 hours a day.