Firefighters Killed in AZ Plane Crash During Wildfire Recon

Firefighter fatality

The U.S. Fire Administration released notices on the deaths of two firefighters who were killed during a plane crash at an Arizona wildfire.

On Saturday, July 10, 2021, Air Tactical Group Supervisor Jeff Piechura, 62, of the U.S. Forest Service/Coronado National Forest and Air Attack Pilot Matthew Robert Miller, 48, of Falcon Executive Aviation, Inc., were aboard a Beechcraft King Air C-90. They were conducting visual reconnaissance and aviation command and control over the Cedar Basin Fire near Wikieup, Arizona, when the aircraft crashed. Both individuals perished in the accident.

According to the Associated Press, Piechura became the Northwest (AZ) Fire District’s first chief in November 1988 and remained in the position for 24 years before retiring. He also worked with the Stockton Fire Department in California and the Sedona Fire District in Arizona.

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