Soldiers headed to Meyers fire in southwestern Montana

Soldiers headed to Meyers fire in southwestern Montana

Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle
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Michael Wright

The Montana National Guard will help crews battle a wildfire in southwestern Montana that has already eaten up thousands of acres and is expected to grow even larger.

The Meyers fire is burning about 25 miles southwest of Philipsburg. Inciweb’s most recent update says it has charred more than 13,000 acres so far. The update also says the blaze will be a “long duration fire and will grow larger over time.”

It’s listed at 4 percent containment. That consists of a mile of hand-built fire line, 11 miles built with a dozer, and 10 miles of existing roads.

There are 547 people staffing the fire already, but the crews needed more help. Montana Public Radio reported Monday that a crew and a helicopter from the National Guard were headed there to help out. From MTPR:

A Chinook helicopter and its team of 15 were deployed to combat the Meyers fire, 25 miles south of Philipsburg in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.

Brian Scott is a public information officer working on the 13,000 acre blaze.

“We’re going to be able to utilize one of the helicopters from the National Guard and that will be nice for us not only in terms of helping put water in spots that are hotter than we’d like, but also, it will give them some additional training.”
The resources are available because Montana Gov. Steve Bullock declared a state of emergency because of wildfires last month. It’s the first time the National Guard has been called to a fire this year.

Another blaze in the area, the Whetstone Ridge fire, burned toward and joined with the Meyers fire. Since Aug. 1, the name Meyers fire has referred to both blazes.