Six Engines from Missoula Area Head to Bridger Foothills Fire
A total of six engines and numerous firefighters from western Montana are en route to help fight the rapidly growing Bridger Foothills Fire burning in Gallatin County.
Mel Holtz, Public Information Officer for Frenchtown Fire District has more details.
“We received a request from Gallatin County, and Ravalli County received a request to assist with the mutual aid and sending engines over,” said Holtz. “So we have six engines actually, four wildland engines and two water tenders that are currently on their way at Gallatin County's request to help them out with their wildfire going on. Engines from Florence, Frenchtown, the city of Missoula and Missoula Rural Fire are all sending resources over there to help out.”
Holtz described some of the protective preparations for firefighters to keep from spreading COVID 19 in the Bridger Foothills fire camp.
We have six engines actually, four wildland engines and two water tenders that are currently on their way at Gallatin County's request to help them out with their wildfire going on. Engines from Florence, Frenchtown, the city of Missoula and Missoula Rural Fire are all sending resources over there to help out.
“There's a rigorous process this year that the Forest Service and Montana DNRC (Department of Natural Resources and Conservation) have come up to really address that within the fire camp, and then while they’re working the fire,” he said. “So it's just a different look and feel than what we normally are used to as far as fire camps go, staying more in your modules, and the last group coming back to camp at night, for instance, and grabbing a meal together, some of those things just don't exist anymore.”
Holtz said the conditions in the Bridger Foothills Fire are especially dangerous for firefighters.
“They did have a shelter deployment there,” he said. “There's a fast moving fire going on over there and so they've got a lot going on and so we're happy to send that additional help. They would do it for us if we got in a situation where we needed help. They'd be the first on the road to come help us out.”
As of Sunday, the fire was over 7,000 acres and some structures in the area have been lost.
Governor Bullock said funds from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) have been released to help fight that fire.