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Report: Firefighter Killed By Tree Debris After Fire Retardant Drop

A preliminary report suggests that a firefighter who died last week fighting the Mendocino Complex fire was killed by falling tree debris after thousands of gallons of retardant were dropped on the area where he was working. 

The summary report by California fire officials says Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett was struck by debris on August 13 at the Mendocino Complex Fire. 

Three other firefighters had minor injuries. 

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The two-paragraph summary calls for immediate corrective action, saying firefighters must remain clear of areas with overhead hazards during a retardant drop.