South Lake Tahoe, CA… A 21 year-old firefighter from Shingle Springs, Calif., died Saturday afternoon as a result of injuries received while suppressing a wildfire on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) in Northern California. Michael Hallenbeck was a member of Organized Crew 36 on the LTBMU.
Hallenbeck was struck by a tree at approximately 5:30 p.m. during the initial attack on the Sierra Fire, just inside the LTBMU boundary south of Echo Summit. Efforts to resuscitate Hallenbeck were not successful.
“Our hearts go out to the family, friends and fellow crewmembers of this brave firefighter,” said U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Regional Forester Randy Moore. “The loss of any member of our Forest Service family is a tragedy. The grief we are feeling at the sudden loss of two of our firefighters; Dave Ruhl last week on the Modoc National Forest and now Mike Hallenbeck on the Basin, reminds us of the sacrifices these men and women make every day.”
The Sierra Fire is one of several dozen lightning-caused fires that began on multiple National Forests in Northern California on Saturday.