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Flags to be lowered in Arizona to honor fallen firefighters

Hampshire College returns to flying American flag
Posted at 6:48 AM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 09:48:08-04

PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags on all state buildings lowered to half-staff Tuesday to honor two wildland firefighting crew members killed in a plane crash in northwestern Arizona.

The state Bureau of Land Management identified the victims as 62-year-old Jeff Piechura and 48-year-old Matthew Miller. Piechura was a retired fire chief from the Tucson area who was working for the Coronado National Forest, and Miller was a pilot with Falcon Executive Aviation contracted by the U.S. Forest Service.

Bureau officials say the plane went down Saturday as it was doing aerial reconnaissance and helping direct aviation resources over a lightning-caused wildfire near the small community of Wikieup. Piechura is survived by his wife and five children.