Utah Firefighter Dies Fighting California Blaze

Aug 14, 2018

On Monday Draper Fire Department Battalion Chief Matt Burchett was injured while fighting the Mendocino Complex Fire in California. He died Monday night from his injuries. He had a 20-year career with the Unified Fire Authority before joining the Draper Fire Department in May. He volunteered earlier in August to help with the California fire.  Carolyn Murray has this:

 Matt Burchett, 42 had deep ties to the Wasatch Back having been raised with his brother and two sisters in Midway. His cousin, Betsy Bothe is a long-time resident of Summit County. She says his parents, Rose and Tom Burchett are people who have devoted their lives and careers to helping others. Both were devoted educators who are now retired. She says the entire family pursued careers in service. 

 Bothe says Matt and his brother Dominick were both firefighters and they were like two peas in a pod. They were so close and so connected, many thought they were twins but they were actually two years apart. Brother Dominick is part owner of The Mine Bouldering Gym and he, and his family, live in Park City. Bothe says the official cause of her Cousin’s death has not been confirmed. She heard from her family that it was a falling tree, that he was life flighted to a hospital and died later from the injury. She says the family is waiting to hear the final report on the cause of death. 

 Bothe was looking at photos of the fire on his Instagram account a couple of days ago. She knew he had volunteered to help fight the huge Mendocino Fire but says she was startled by the images. She’s not surprised that he volunteered to  help what is reported to be the biggest fire in that region in California’s history. 

 Bothe says the family is close, always enjoying the outdoors and pursuing adventures together. She says he was loved deeply and will be missed terribly. She says the twinkle in his eyes exudes his goodness and that Burchett’s parents Tom and Rose taught all their kids to serve and give to community. 

 Burchett leaves behind his wife Heather who is a life flight nurse and a six-year old son, Griffin. KPCW will provide information about funeral services as they become available.