Montana National Guard mobilized to help firefighting efforts

Montana National Guard mobilized to help firefighting efforts

Source: KRTV
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GREAT FALLS – On Sunday, 15 soldiers and one CH-47D Chinook helicopter of the Montana National Guard were mobilized to help battle the Meyers Fire, located 25 miles southwest of Philipsburg.

The lightning-sparked Meyers Fire has burned more than 13,000 acres.

Following assembly and in-processing, the soldiers are scheduled to depart for the fire area at 2 p.m. Monday.

Governor Steve Bullock declared a fire emergency for Montana on July 23, which authorized Montana National Guard to support wildfire efforts as needed.

The Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation submitted a request for military support for the Meyers Fire.

As part of the mobilization, one National Guard liaison officer will be stationed at the Northern Rockies Coordination Center in Missoula for the duration of military support.

Potential further deployments of helicopter and ground support are being examined.

The CH-47D Chinook is a twin rotor heavy lift helicopter, capable of dropping 2,000 gallons of water at a time from an attached bucket.

During wildfire deployments in 2015, Montana National Guard helicopters dropped more than 2,276,176 gallons of water on fires around the state.

Evacuation notices remain in effect for residents in the Frog Pond Basin, Copper Creek Campground and Moose Lake areas.

A public meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday at the Georgetown Lake Fire Station #1.

Residents of the East Fork Reservoir and Georgetown areas can expect to see fire vehicles and equipment over the next few days.

While the Meyers fire is not posing an imminent danger to those areas, the incident management team is developing a longer-term contingency plan to protect those communities.

A fire information hotline is available at (406) 859-9109 and is manned daily from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.