Wildfire Film Pays Respect to Fallen Heroes

The Hotshots
Photo courtesy of IMDB

By GABRIELLA BOCK | Reporter

Heating up this year’s fall film season is architect-turned-director Joseph Kosinski’s disaster drama “Only the Brave,” a robust, true story turned feature that explores the camaraderie and conviviality that often materializes between men in the wake of danger.

United by a spark of lightning, “Brave” tells the story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a Prescott, Arizona, firefighting crew, and their journey to the front lines of the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire, one of the nation’s deadliest wildfires ever recorded.

The film stars Josh Brolin as the Hotshots’ Chief Eric Marsh and Palisades Charter High School alumnus Jeff Bridges as Marsh’s friend and supervisor Duane Steinbrink.

Fighting alongside Marsh and Steinbrink was 21-year-old recovering junkie and soon-to-be father Brendan “Donut” McDonough—played by Miles Teller—and 17 other firefighters who risked, and ultimately gave up their lives, to battle the blaze that threatened the small town of Yarnell, Arizona, located about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix.

And although moviegoers already know how this tragic story ends, the bulk of the film follows the backstories and bonds formed between the 19 men who perished in the fire, highlighting their lives and demonstrating the heroism that transpired on that early summer day in 2013.

Timely in its release, the disaster film comes as deadly wildfires continue to scorch through areas of Northern California’s wine country. As of Monday, Oct. 16, wildfires had claimed the lives of 40 Californians, destroying thousands of homes and displacing many others.

Also starring Jennifer Connelly, James Badge Dale and Taylor Kitsch, “Only the Brave” arrives in theaters on Oct. 20.