"I'm just kind of numb and in a state of shock," Cassidy Steed said.
"I looked up to him. He was an outstanding man. He was a big family man and he loved his job," Steed added, speaking to KCPQ by phone.
"He definitely sacrificed a lot for his job, time away from his family, hours spent training to be safe at it. The time he put into it was really impressive and I'm really proud of him."
Family friend Tracie Jarratt said James Steed was a former Marine who spent several years in the military. He leaves behind a wife and two children, ages 3 and 4, she told KCPQ.
Joe Thurston, 32 -- Friends described Thurston as determined, generous, and always up for a challenge.
"He was one of the best guys I ever met," Scott Goodrich, a friend, told The Salt Lake Tribune.
Thurston grew up in Cedar City, Utah, and attended Cedar High School and Southern Utah University, according to the newspaper.
He and Goodrich reportedly played in a band, went cliff-jumping together, and rode skateboards.
"He was a very determined guy. He wasn't a slacker. He was very generous. All that is definitely in his character," Goodrich said.
Travis Turbyfill, 27 -- The Arizona Republic reported that Turbyfill attended Prescott High School. The caption under his yearbook photo may give a glimpse into his personality.
"I have decided to live forever or die in the attempt," the newspaper reported it said.
Billy Warneke, 25 -- From the time he was 6 years old, Warneke wanted to be a firefighter -- and not just a regular one. "He wanted to be with the best: the hotshot crew," his grandfather told CNN affiliate KGTV.
Warneke was reared in Hemet, California, as part of a military family. His brother in the Navy and sister in the Coast Guard, Warneke left for the Marines after high school, serving a tour in Iraq as a sharpshooter, according to the Press-Enterprise newspaper in Riverside, California. He joined the Granite Mountain Hotshots just two months ago, KGTV reported. His wife, Roxanne, whom he married in 2010 after leaving the Marines, is expecting their first child in December.
Clayton Whitted, 28 -- Whitted "just had that smile and that spark," said Lou Beneitone, high school football coach. Whitted was one of his star lineman, CNN affiliate KPHO reported.
Whitted was funny, but "when it came down to getting serious, he got serious," Beneitone said.
The coach, who said he is devastated, saw Whitted just a couple of months ago getting ready for what he knew would be a tough fire season.
"I shook his hand, hugged him and said, 'Be careful out there,' and he said, 'I will, coach,'" Beneitone said.
Kevin Woyjeck, 21 -- Joe Woyjeck last talked to his son Kevin, the outdoors enthusiast who took up his father's firefighting profession, on the phone just hours before Kevin died. "He said, 'Dad, we got a fire in Yarnell, Arizona. ... I'll give you a call later,'" the elder Woyjeck said on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" on Monday.
Kevin Woyjeck, following in the footsteps of his father, a Los Angeles County Fire Department fire captain, joined the Prescott Fire Department's Granite Mountain Hotshots just three months ago, Joe Woyjeck said.
"Always wanted to be a fireman. He loved the outdoors -- sleeping in the dirt was not a big deal to him; he actually enjoyed it, I think," he said, remembering a son who always had a fishing rod in his car. "Just a great kid, not a mean bone in his body ... always looking forward to becoming a firefighter like his dad.
"Words can't describe the loss that our family is feeling right now."
Garret Zuppiger, 27 -- Zuppiger was the type of guy who would "give you the shirt off his back," Frank Morrison, a former neighbor of his, told The Arizona Republic.
He "was always, always willing to lend a helping hand," Morrison said.