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Tahoe Procession Honors Fallen Firefighter

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
 

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

(AP) - Hundreds of people yesterday lined the streets and highways near Lake Tahoe to pay their respects as a funeral procession passed for a 21-year-old Forest Service firefighter killed while responding to a Sierra wildfire.

Michael Hallenbeck of Shingle Springs died when a tree fell on him last Saturday during the initial attack on a fire in the Eldorado National Forest near Echo Summit south of Lake Tahoe.

Yesterday's procession began in South Lake Tahoe, passing under American flags suspended from two ladder trucks on the way to Hallenbeck's final resting place in Placerville.

Wednesday night, about 200 family, friends and co-workers gathered for a candlelight vigil at a nearby ski resort to honor the man they remembered as a dedicated firefighter and avid snowboarder.

Memorial services for Hallenbeck will take place Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Green Valley Mortuary in Rescue, Calif. Seats are limited with priority given to family members. There will be a broadcast of the service through speakers outside of the chapel. A graveside ceremony will take place after. U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell will speak at the memorial.  For more information, click here.