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.

Today’s Top Stories

Utah

This morning the Gary Sinise Foundation's Snowball Express made a pit stop at the new SLC Airport o...
Waverly Golden

Snowball Express arrives at Salt Lake City Airport

On Dec. 3 the Gary Sinise Foundation's Snowball Express made a pit stop at the new SLC Airport on its way to Orlando Walt Disney World. 
1 day ago
Cam Rising losing his helmet (Photo Credit, Wally Skalij, LA Times)...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: The long and winding road to the championship

Never give up, not on each other, the children, or life. We may be down, but never out. Keep fighting for the things we hold dear. We believe in each other.
1 day ago
Former astronaut and Utah Sen. Jake Garn will be honored Saturday with an art installation tribute ...
Mark Jones

Former Utah Sen. Jake Garn to be honored with art tribute on Saturday

Former Utah Sen. Jake Garn will be honored with an art installation tribute Saturday at the Salt Lake City International Airport.
2 days ago
A west valley police car is pictured. Police are investigating a hit and run...
Mark Jones

Fire in West Valley City home contained to one room in basement

A fire inside a West Valley City home Friday was contained to one room in the basement, according to fire officials on scene.
2 days ago
Both Utah rail workers and Utah farmers expressed relief that a threatened rail strike was averted ...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

Union Pacific, Utah farmers, relieved threat of strike has passed

Union Pacific Railroad representatives said claims about days off, made by workers threatening to strike, were outright false.
2 days ago
Police in Moscow, Idaho say that a person listed on the lease of the house where 4 students were fo...
Elizabeth Wolfe and Mallika Kallingal, CNN

Moscow police say 6th person on lease isn’t involved in Idaho homicides

The four Idaho homicide victims were found stabbed to death on November 13 in an off-campus house in the college town.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Draper confirms firefighter killed in CA is one of theirs