Hundreds honor fallen Tahoe firefighter during procession

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

Michael Hallenbeck of Shingle Springs was fatally injured when a tree fell on him Aug. 8 during the initial attack on the fire in the Eldorado National Forest near Echo Summit.

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

The night before, about 200 family members, 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.