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Montana fire departments leave to fight California fires

Montana fire crews are stepping up and heading to California to help in any way they can by sending close to 100 firefighters and about 20 fire engines.

Crews from Columbus, Red Lodge, Big Sky, Bull Lake, and other stations across the state hit the road Sunday morning.

MTN spoke with Fire Chief Rich Cowger of the Columbus Rural Fire District about the choice to send crews out to help.

“That’s what we do as a fire service in particular,” he said. “We’re having a conference down here where we talk about how we are family and what we do and what our mission statements are protecting the citizens that we serve.”

Cowger said the people in California are having the ultimate of bad days.

“I think for our department alone, this is our third deployment down to California. That’s the main concern. That’s why they are going down there, not only to for them to stay safe,” he said. “But to help other folks that are down there. Those firefighters are overworked and overwhelmed. That’s part of the purpose is to keep those guys safe.”

He added they are not sure what the firefighters’ assignments will be, but will know in the next couple of days.

Captain Mitch Hamel and Firefighters John Foster, Mike Ketschek, Dave Parker and Seth Nowlin left Big Sky this morning…

Posted by Big Sky Fire Department on Sunday, November 11, 2018

MTN News

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