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Movie on wildfire tragedy has Brillion connection

August 24, 2017

By Ed Byrne The Brillion News

A movie due to hit theatres this fall chronicles the 19 Arizona firefighters who died when they were trapped in a box canyon while battling a wildfire on June 30, 2013.

One of the men who died was the son-in-law of a woman who grew up in Brillion. Her father still lives here.

Travis Turbyfill was 27 when his service as a member of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hot Shot Crew cost him his life.

His wife, Stephanie, is the granddaughter of James Steinfest of Brillion. Stephanie’s mother, Debbie, is one of the seven children of James and the late Sally Steinfest.

Debbie will be in Brillion around the time the movie “Only The Brave” is released to theatres.

“We are flying her up here,” James Steinfest said. “We have a wedding and reception in October, and all of the family will be gathered. I’d like to see her and the rest of the family would too.”

Miles Teller, Josh Brolin and Jeff Bridges are the big name actors in the movie “Only The Brave.”

Travis Turbyfill is played by actor Geoff Stults, a Detroit native who has a long list of movie and television credits.

Columbia Pictures is releasing the film to theatres in October. The movie’s trailer is available and can be viewed at

Steinfest was unaware that a film was being made of the tragedy, but you can bet he will see it.

“Oh yes, definitely,” Steinfest said.

Stephanie Turbyfill and the couple’s two girls – Brooklyn and Brynley – have a new home in Arizona.

“She built a new house … She had just a little house that she lived in at Prescott,” Steinfest said. “She and the kids are doing fine. They are growing. We’ll get filled in when my daughter comes up.”

Travis Turbyfill was a former Marine, who began his firefighting career with the U.S. Forest Service. He and Stephanie both attended Yavapai College, where she was a nursing student.

The fire that took the 19 Hot Shot firefighters was dramatic enough, but the fire also sparked controversy.

Please see the complete story in the August 24, 2017 edition of The Brillion News. 



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