Officials with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection announced Monday that a firefighter died battling the Mendocino Complex Fire. This is the sixth firefifghting fatality during recent California wildfires.

DRAPER, Utah (PRESS RELEASE) – It is with tremendous sadness (that the the Draper City Fire Department) announces the tragic loss of one of our own. Last night while fighting the Mendocino Complex Wildfire in California, Draper Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett lost his life in the line of duty. Draper deployed five firefighters to California on August 2nd, and the team has worked tirelessly to protect lives and property. The entire community of Draper is grieving our loss.

Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett

Chief Burchett came to Draper City Fire Department in May of this year. Prior to working for Draper, he worked for Unified Fire Authority for the past 20 years. Chief Burchett had extensive experience in wildland and structure fire. Chief Burchett leaves behind a wife and a young son. He was 42 years old.

“This is not only a loss for our Draper Fire Department, but a loss for all fire departments in the Nation.

We appreciate all the heartfelt support from the Draper Community, Cal Fire, the State of Utah, and our family of firefighters from across the nation.

At this time, we ask for some privacy for Chief Burchett’s family as they process this tragedy.

In the coming days we will have information about funeral plans, a donation fund for Matt’s family and more details as they become available.”