Dead firefighter had graduated one month earlier - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Dead firefighter had graduated one month earlier

Associated Press - July 27, 2008 2:55 PM ET

PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. (AP) - The Washington man who died on his first day working a northern California fire line had graduated one month earlier from Port Townsend High School.

Andrew Palmer was struck by a falling tree on Friday while working in Shasta-Trinity National Forest near Weaverville, Calif.

Authorities say Palmer died aboard a Coast Guard helicopter while he was being airlifted to a hospital.

Palmer is the first Olympic National Park firefighter to die in the line of duty in more than 20 years.

Olympic National Park spokeswoman Barb Maynes calls Palmer extremely energetic, and dedicated to his job. She says he was eager and excited to fight fires.

Port Townsend High School Athletic Director Scott Ricardo says Palmer was a "bright and shining star."

Information from: Peninsula Daily News,

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