‘Our hearts are heavy’: Gov. Little responds to death of firefighter battling Schill Fire

BOISE , Idaho — Governor Brad Little responded on Wednesday to the death of a firefighter battling an Idaho fire, ordering all American and State of Idaho flags to be flown at half-staff in the man’s honor. 

“Our hearts are heavy,” Gov. Little said. “The death of a firefighter is felt deeply and emotionally in the firefighting community. Pray for comfort for the pilot’s family and colleagues, and please do your part to prevent needless wildfires.” 

Ricky Fulton was piloting a single engine air tanker when it crashed while fighting the Schill Fire. The fire has burned roughly 30 acres near Emmett Idaho as of Wednesday. 

Firefighters tried to save Fulton and called for Life Flight, according to a release, but he died from his injuries.

“We offer our sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the pilot lost in this tragic accident,” said Bureau of Land Management acting Boise District Manager Tanya Thrift. “This reminds us of the inherent risks involved in wildland firefighting and the gratitude we owe to the courageous and committed men and women who serve willingly to protect lives, property and natural resources.”

According to the Bureau of Land Management, the DOI Office of Aviation Services, National Transportation Safety Board, and FAA are conducting an investigation into Fulton’s death.

READ: Pilot dies in crash fighting Schill Fire near Emmett, Idaho