DRAPER, Utah (AP) – Utah firefighter Matthew Burchett stated goodbye to his spouse and 6-year-old son in early August and volunteered to move to California together with 37 different firefighters from the state to assist battle blazes which have been ravaging houses within the coastal state.
On Monday night time, Burchett, 42, died after he was injured whereas preventing the biggest recorded blaze in California historical past, the Mendocino Advanced fireplace north of San Francisco. California officers have declined to offer particulars about what led to Burchett’s loss of life.
In Utah, metropolis and fireplace officers within the Salt Lake Metropolis suburb of Draper the place Burchett lived and labored mourned his loss of life on Tuesday. A big American flag flew at half-mast outdoors the city corridor, and smaller American flags have been put up lining the sidewalk.
Draper Battalion Chiefs Bart Vawdrey and Kevin Holt hear throughout a press convention in Draper, Utah, on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. Draper Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett died battling the biggest recorded wildfire in California historical past. (Jeffrey D. Allred/The Deseret Information by way of AP)
Draper Mayor Troy Walker stated at a information convention that Burchett was a veteran firefighter with intensive expertise engaged on wildfires. He stated he did not have particulars concerning the occasions that led to Burchett’s loss of life.
“These males are American heroes. They actually stand within the fireplace to assist different folks,” Walker stated. “I do not know the way you get higher than that. I do know he was proud to do it. I do know all of them are.”
He was one in all 5 Draper firefighters who went to California, Walker stated.
Burchett had simply began with the Draper Fireplace Division in Might after 20 years with one other Salt Lake Metropolis space fireplace division. He was a battalion chief who was employed to supervise town’s wildland firefighting efforts, colleague Bart Vawdrey stated.
Burchett was an excellent man with a dry wit who was very skilled and a “grasp of his craft,” stated Vawdrey, a fellow battalion chief in Draper.
“It is powerful anytime you lose a brother,” Vawdrey stated. “We get into this occupation to assist folks, and Matt jumped on the likelihood to go help in California.”
Firefighters from all around the nation have been serving to California battle a collection of lethal and devastating wildfires in latest weeks which have unfold by drought-parched forests and rural communities.
Six firefighters have died in these wildfires.
Funeral companies are pending for Burchett.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert stated in an announcement that he is heartbroken over Burchett’s loss of life and provided his prayers for Burchett’s spouse and son.
“When he left together with his fellow firefighters to battle the wildfires in California we have been so happy with his service – now his heroism leaves us each proud and devastated,” Herbert stated. “He gave every little thing to defend the lives of others.”
Draper Metropolis Fireplace Station No. 21 flies their flag at half-staff in Draper, Utah, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, in honor of Draper Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett who was killed within the Mendocino Advanced Wildfire in California. (Jeffrey D. Allred/The Deseret Information by way of AP)