Crew returns home after firefighter's death
A firefighting crew from the Blackfeet Nation returned home to Montana on Wednesday with one of their fallen comrades.

Michael MacDonald, 26, was the first member of the Chief Mountain Hot Shots to die in the line of duty. He was killed in a helicopter accident in Arizona, where he was fighting a fire on the edge of Grand Canyon National Park.

"He really pulled me up — he told me never to quit," longtime friend Maurice St. Goddard told The Great Falls Tribune.

Others remembered MacDonald for his sense of humor, athletic prowess and generosity. "His happiness, joy and willingness to work were incredible. He was a strong young man, very safe and very conscious of those around him. He’s been run out of a few fires, and he was always watching out for the people around him," said William Pepion Jr.

MacDonald, whose girlfriend is due to give birth in August, will be buried on Saturday. Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) has ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff.

Get the Story:
Crew remembers MacDonald as ‘inspiring’ firefighter (The Great Falls Tribune 7/3)

Related Stories:
Blackfeet man killed in helicopter accident (7/1)
Blackfeet fire crews battle blazes in California (6/24)

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