Firefighting Helicopter Pilot is …19?!

As featured on The Good Stuff, from Roseville Meat Company, Pat, Tom and Cody, and KNCI

By kncitom on September 16, 2020
. (Photo by Corporal Nicole Dorrett, via Getty Images)

Ashli Blain is one of the helicopter pilots who helped battle the SCU Lightning Complex fire last month when it was raging at its worst. She worked tirelessly, dumping water on the massive blaze that ripped through Solano and Napa counties, burning hundreds of thousands of acres. She is a hero.

She is also only 19.

Ashli’s parents own a helicopter company in Billings, Montana (there’s a “helicopter parent” joke in there somewhere), so she grew up around them, earning her first license at 13. Today, she is certified to co-pilot Chinook Helicopters and to command Blackhawk helicopters.

So what’s next for her? More firefighting heroics? 

Nope. Ashli has hung up her pilot’s helmet for now because college started up again and she’s studying accounting. She laughs and says compared to fighting fires from a helicopter it’s “kinda boring”, but given she’ll probably be running her parents’ business someday, accounting’s a good skill to have…you know, in case she has to put out any financial fires. 

See the a news feature on Ashli, here 

Around the site