USFA: Montana On-Duty Death

Crash at the White River Fire



United States Fire Administration

The U.S. Fire Administration has announced the official on-duty death of Pilot Thomas Duffy, 40, of Central Copters, Inc. on August 24, 2020.

On Monday, August 24, 2020, Pilot Thomas Duffy, flying a Type 1 Kmax helicopter, was conducting bucket drops while battling the White River Fire in Mount Hood National Forest, when his helicopter crashed. He worked for Central Copters, Inc., a private family run company out of Belgrade, Montana, as a wildland-contract pilot for the U.S. Forest Service. The official cause of the crash is under investigation.

Tribute is being paid to Pilot Duffy at

To date, 58 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2020. Year-to-date and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online at

Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.


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