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Wildland Fire Called In

By admin - Posted on 26 May 2011

On the 31st of April 2011 Meagher County 911 Dispatch was called by Elisabeth Ohlson reporting a large smoke just over the hill from her house on the Birch Creek Ranch. The County Fire Chief was called and advised to check it out. In responding to the fire the County Chief observed the smoke from town and requested a fire engine be dispatched.
Engine 111 responded with volunteers David Collins and Jess Secrest. Upon arriving at the fire we found it moving through the willows and a heavy grass component, with the help of heavy winds at gusts of 40 miles per hour. The north flank of the fire was the only concern of escape, so several times we attempted to anchor and hold this flank, but because of the winds and fuel we were unable to hold it. Firemen pulled back to a fuel type which was easier to hold and burned off a couple of acres.
Because of limited resources and the fire was not likely to advance,  the rest of the fire was left to burn the remainder of the brush. In the investigation it was learned the landowner had burned some brush piles several weeks prior and then snow had accumulated on top of this burn for several weeks. After the snow melted off, heat trapped within the piles, aided by high winds, allowed the fire to reignite.
When the conditions are right, you may still see a smoke column on Birch Creek because this fire was left to burn off the trash wood. The landowner has requested the Meagher County Fire Department do a practice burn. So when the conditions are right we will go up there and finish the burn.
If you are wanting to burn call the Meagher County 911 Center and get a burning permit. Watch your fire and the weather forecast. If the fire gets away from you call the 911 Center for the Fire Department. The Meagher County Fire Chief will close burning when the weather forecast prohibits burning.


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