Fallen Firefighter Oversaw Draper FD’s Wildland Operations
DRAPER, Utah – Draper firefighter, Battalion Chief Matt Burchett, left 12 days ago to fight the massive Mendocino Complex Fire in California.
California fire officials told KSL-TV that Burchett was hurt Monday evening when a tree fell on him during the firefighting efforts. He was airlifted to a hospital, where he later passed away.
Officials with numerous fire agencies met at the Draper City Hall Tuesday night for five hours trying to work out the details to get Burchett home.
Tina Brown, the public information officer for Salt Lake County Emergency Management, told KSL dealing with a tragedy that spans state lines and involves multiple agencies is causing difficulties in transporting Burchett’s body back to Utah.
Funeral services have not been announced at this time.
Burchett was 42 and leaves behind a young son.
Burchett came to the Draper Fire Department to oversee their wildland firefighting operations just three months ago. He had an impressive career with Unified Fire Authority in Salt Lake County for more than 20 years.
A close friend told KSL he helped save many lives while on the job.
“He was so bright and so compassionate,” Assistant Fire Chief Mike Watson with Unified Fire said. “He was special. He trained and helped educate hundreds of wildland firefighters.”
Those looking to help support the Burchett family can visit utahfes.org, where 100 percent of the money raised will be given to his family. The Utah Firefighter’s Emerald Society organized the charity drive.
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