His family watched from inside vehicles in the procession as firefighters saluted from overpasses and friends waved from sidewalks.
"I just knew how happy my dad was looking down on us today," said Riley Fournier, the victim's daughter. "It made me so happy and brought one of the biggest smiles to my face to see everybody on the overpass."
Michael Fournier, 52, was killed when his helicopter went down last week while fighting the Hills Fire in Western Fresno County last week. He worked for an independent helicopter company contracted by CAL-Fire. The crash is still under investigation by federal authorities.
The procession left Fresno county around 7 a.m. Monday, arriving at the mortuary in Rancho Cucamonga around 12 p.m. Along the way, the procession drove past Fournier's home where dozens of supporters showed their love.
"It didn't feel real until that moment," said daughter Mikena Fournier. "It made my heart feel so big that that's all because of my dad."
Fournier's wife Leanne was presented the flag that covered the casket, along with his wedding ring.
"It's banged up and charred, but it's still strong," said Leanne Fournier. "That's what I'm going to remember: my husband was strong, and he only wanted to take care of us. That was his main goal."
Family mourns loss of Rancho Cucamonga pilot killed in firefighting helicopter crash