UTAH

Draper confirms firefighter killed in CA is one of theirs

Aug 14, 2018, 7:42 AM | Updated: 6:25 pm
Draper firefighters mourn the loss of one of their own...
A Facebook post confirming the death of a Draper firefighter featured this photo of the department.

DRAPER — The Draper City Fire Department has confirmed a firefighter killed while fighting the Mendocino Complex Fires in California is a Utah firefighter with their department.

Mayor Troy Walker identified the fallen firefighter as Battalion Chief Matt Burchett, 42, who leaves behind a wife and son. Burchett is described as a veteran with extensive experience in the Unified Fire Department.

 

The Associated Press is reporting that Burchett was working with several other firefighters downstream from a dam when a tree fell and hit them.

Burchett started work with Draper in May of this year and was considered an expert in fighting wildland fires.  Draper Fire Battalion Chief Bart Vawdrey says he had only worked with Burchett in the same department for a few months, but he had known him, personally, for many years.

“He was a great man.  He had a very dry wit and was very professional.  If I had to describe him, I would describe him as a master of his craft,” Vawdrey says.

Details of the funeral have not been arranged, yet.  Vawdrey says they’re still trying to get Burchett’s body back to his home state.

Vawdrey says, “We’ll be working with CalFire along with the state of Utah and Salt Lake County to get Matt back home.”

Asked about the remaining four Draper firefighters who were serving with Burchett in California, Walker said he expected they would return to Utah soon, saying they have already been pulled from the active fire line.

Walker says Burchett was injured while fighting the Mendocino Complex Fires, California’s largest-ever wildfire, and died after he was taken to a hospital.

News of Burchett’s death comes at a difficult time for the Draper City Fire Department. Earlier this summer, Fire Marshal Bryan Thatcher died unexpectedly.

Firefighters across Utah stood in solidarity with the Draper department on learning the news. At the Coal Hollow Fire in Utah, crews held a moment of silence at the start of their day in memory of Burchett.

Utah

Hatch courthouse...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Utah’s longest serving senator, Orrin Hatch, dies at 88

Orrin Hatch, Utah's longest serving senator, has died at age 88.
26 days ago
Pictured here are items seized from one of four drug busts authorities in Carbon County conducted o...
Mark Jones

Carbon County authorities make significant drug busts

Authorities in Carbon County, with a search warrant, have conducted four drug busts over the past three weeks.
27 days ago
...
Mark Jones

Soap box derby set for Saturday in Daybreak

Daybreak will host the second annual Soap Box Derby on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.
27 days ago
State street traffic sign...
Samantha Herrera

State Street traffic restrictions starting soon

State Street traffic restrictions are slated to start soon and continue into August. Work will impact areas downtown and near the Capitol.
27 days ago
Garth Brooks Salt Lake...
Simone Seikaly

Garth Brooks sells out second Salt Lake concert in 45 minutes

It was the second time in less than a year that Garth Brooks sold that many tickets for a Salt Lake City concert so quickly.
27 days ago
A Smith's recycling bin...
Devin Oldroyd

Recycle single-use plastic at your local Smith’s

In honor of Earth Month, Smith's Food & Drug is encouraging its customers to recycle thin-filter plastic materials at their local stores.
27 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Draper confirms firefighter killed in CA is one of theirs