MENDOCINO COUNTY, Calif. (News4Utah) – The largest fire in California history turned deadly on Monday as a Draper City firefighter tending the blaze was killed.
Draper City officials have identified the firefighter as 42-year-old Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett.
There were few details on how he died in the Mendocino Complex Fire, northeast of Ukiah, California. The fire is burning near the Mendocino National Forest, about 140 miles northwest of Sacramento.
It was announced this evening that a firefighter from a Utah fire department was killed today while working on the #MendocinoComplexFire . Our hearts are with his family.— Utah Fire Info (@UtahWildfire) August 14, 2018
Chief Burchett started working with the Draper City Fire Dept. in May of this year. Draper Mayor Troy Walker said prior to that he worked with Unified Fire Authority for the past 20 years.
He leaves behind a wife and a young son.
“This is not only a loss for our Draper Fire Dept., but a loss for all fire departments in the Nation,” Mayor Walker said.
Twelve days ago, Draper fire dispatched five firefighters including Burchett to the Mendocino Complex Fire in northern California.