An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Michael “Mikey” Hallenbeck


Firefighter Hallenbeck and his crew were assigned to the Sierra Fire, a lightning-caused fire in the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. While Firefighter Hallenbeck and other firefighters were building a line, or firebreak, around a burning tree, the tree fell.

The falling tree struck Firefighter Hallenbeck and another firefighter. Firefighter Hallenbeck was severely injured and CPR was initiated by other firefighters. A medical helicopter was called and arrived on the scene at 1841hrs. Firefighter Hallenbeck arrived at a local airport by helicopter but was declared deceased at approximately 90 minutes after the incident. His death was caused by traumatic head injuries.

Incident Location: Vicinity of Echo Summit, CA (U.S. National Grid: 10S GH 5811 9976)

photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Michael “Mikey” Hallenbeck was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.

Department information

U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA
U.S. National Grid: 11S KD 4261 1299
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150

Chief: Forest Supervisor Jeff Marsolais

Age: 21
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Wildland Part-Time
Incident date: August 8, 2015 17:41
Date of death: August 8, 2015
Cause of death: Struck By
Nature of death: Trauma
Activity type: Support
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property

Last updated: August 23, 2016

Watch America’s Tribute to Fallen Firefighters

Honoring line-of-duty deaths in 2019