Scott Daniel Norris Yarnell Hill Fire - Tucson News Now

Scott Daniel Norris

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Scott Norris Scott Norris
YARNELL, AZ (CBS5) -

For one so young, Scott led a full, adventurous life. 

Scott was born in Prescott and has been a resident of the Prescott area all his life. He attended Liberty Traditional School and Bradshaw Mountain High School where he was a 2003 graduate. He then attended Yavapai College where he received his firefighter certification. 

He has worked for Pro Water Irrigation, NAU Biology Dept., Payson Hotshots, and most recently Bucky O'Neil's Gun Store and Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew. Scott served as a Hotshot for approximately five years.

He loved people, great food, and a good challenge. He was clear-thinking, thoughtful, witty, hard-working, and courageous and had a true talent for making others laugh and enjoy life. He had a passion for God's nature, and spent much of his time outdoors – hiking, biking, climbing, backpacking, and snow-boarding.

He made several backpacking excursions into various parts of the Grand Canyon, and in 2010 was trip leader for a 230-mile, 20-day private raft trip down the Colorado River, which included his parents and close friends. While off-season from wildland firefighting, he traveled to Thailand and Cambodia and explored our own beautiful country.  He made an extended trip with his good friend Ian to Central America, where they visited Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In his time off during this recent fire season, Scott made it a priority to spend time with family, friends, his girlfriend Heather, and their dogs.  Scott and Heather recently made trips to some of his favorite places in Arizona:  Beaver Creek, Clear Creek, and Fossil Creek.  

Scott had a creative side as well and was an exceptional writer. While traveling he sent descriptive, entertaining emails, and once in a while he even penned a poem. He enjoyed learning about how things work – from dog training to firearms, and he was passionate about weather-watching, especially thunderstorms and snowstorms.

Fellow hotshots described him as being a brother to them. They felt lucky to work side by side with Scott and were always grateful for the countless times he made them laugh and smile. Scott had a magnetic personality and brilliant mind. He would talk to anyone, debating on countless subjects. 

Payson Hotshot Evan Whetten said Scott was "one of the toughest, most unbreakable guys, with the biggest and sweetest heart of anyone I've ever known. A true original, Scott was never afraid to be himself and did not follow trends. He was his own man. He would do absolutely anything for a friend."

Scott was known around Prescott through his part-time job at Bucky O'Neill Guns.

"Here in Arizona, the gun shops are a lot like barbershops. Sometimes you don't go in there to buy anything at all, you just go to talk," said resident William O'Hara. "I never heard a dirty word out of the guy. He was the kind of guy who if he dated your daughter, you'd be OK with it. He was just a model of a young, ideal American gentleman."

O'Hara's son Ryan, 19, said Norris' life and tragic death had inspired him to live a more meaningful life.

"He was a loving guy. He loved life. And I've been guilty of not looking as happy as I should, and letting things get to me, and Scott wasn't like that at all."

Norris was engaged to married. His fiance is a sergeant with the Prescott Police Department.

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