Draper City remembers fallen firefighter on 1-year anniversary of his death

Local (Utah/State News)

DRAPER, Utah (ABC4 News) – The city of Draper, along with the Draper Fire Department and the rest of the community, are remembering a Draper City Fire Battalion who lost his life 1-year ago.

Draper Battalion Chief Matt Burchett, 42, died on August 13, 2018, while fighting the Mendocino Complex Fire in California after a tree fell on top of him.

Draper Fire Department posted a tribute to their fallen comrade on their Facebook page:

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since we lost a hero! It has been a difficult year without our brother but…

Posted by Draper City Fire Department on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The city of Draper also posted a tribute to Burchett on their social media:

Today members of Lake Pillsbury Fire Rescue, CalFire, US Forestry, North Shore, and Ukiah Valley Fire Authority gathered…

Posted by Draper City Fire Department on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Burchett was among eight Utah agencies who headed off last August to fight the largest wildfire in California History.

As news of his death spread, those that knew him best were trying to grasp how this could happen to one of their own.

“With all the experience he had, if it can happen to him, it can happen to anybody,” said Dave Ulibarri, retired Utah firefighter. “These fires are dangerous.”

Ulibarri says he formed a special brotherly bond with Burchett.

“We lived together, you know? We eat (and) cook meals together. We go into burning buildings together,” said Ulibarri. “We go into unspeakable situations together and we bond,” said Ulibarri.

Ulibarri says Burchett died as a hero and his family should be very proud. “He’s a great guy,” said Ulibarri. “We’re going to miss him.”

Burchett left behind a wife and young son.

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