A firefighter from Utah died Monday battling the largest wildfire in recorded California history, marking the latest fatality in a fire season that has taken a grim toll on first responders.
The firefighter was injured while working on an active portion of the Ranch fire within the massive Mendocino Complex blaze. He was flown to a hospital, where he died. Authorities said “fact-finding on the accident” is underway.
“We are extremely heartbroken for this loss. We are dedicated to investigating what happened,” Sean Kavanaugh, a fire incident commander, said at a brief news conference. “We mourn as we also battle California’s largest wildfire that continues to burn extremely steep and remote terrain.”
On Tuesday, authorities identified the fallen firefighter as Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett, 42, of the Draper City Fire Department in Utah.
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