Utah firefighter’s widow sues over California fire death

Local (Utah/State News)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The widow of a Utah firefighter who was killed when a supertanker dropped nearly 20,000 gallons of fire retardant near his position fighting a Northern California fire is suing Cal Fire and the aircraft company for alleged negligence.

State investigators found 42-year-old battalion chief Matthew Burchett of Draper, Utah, died last August when fire retardant was dropped from an aircraft flying barely above the treetops because spotters mistakenly sent it on a route too close to the ground.

FILE – In this Aug. 20, 2018, file photo, the casket with fallen Utah firefighter Matthew Burchett is loaded into a fire engine after the funeral at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah. The widow of Burchett who was killed when a supertanker dropped nearly 20,000 gallons of fire retardant near his position fighting a Northern California fire is suing Cal Fire and the aircraft company for alleged negligence. The Sacramento Bee reports that a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, by Burchett’s widow, Heather, and son, Griffin, says the firefighter was in a “safe zone” when the retardant was dropped. (Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File)

The retardant struck with such force it uprooted an 87-foot (27-meter) tree that fell on Burchett.

The Sacramento Bee reports that a lawsuit filed Wednesday by Burchett’s widow and son says the firefighter was in a “safe zone” when the retardant was dropped.

Cal Fire did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.

___

Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com

WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News Videos

Mother of two missing children jailed in Hawaii (Video KITV)

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mother of two missing children jailed in Hawaii (Video KITV)"

ABC4 News obtains video of Friday's WVC shooting

Thumbnail for the video titled "ABC4 News obtains video of Friday's WVC shooting"

Video emerges in WVC shooting Friday

Thumbnail for the video titled "Video emerges in WVC shooting Friday"

Money raised for Quaden Bayles' trip to Disneyland

Thumbnail for the video titled "Money raised for Quaden Bayles' trip to Disneyland"

U of U dean on Black History Month: 'You are responsible for making sure that children understand their history and their culture'

Thumbnail for the video titled "U of U dean on Black History Month: 'You are responsible for making sure that children understand their history and their culture'"

Costco to ban non-members from food court

Thumbnail for the video titled "Costco to ban non-members from food court"
More Video News

Don't Miss