NewsWildfire Watch


CSKT Chairwoman expresses appreciation for efforts to fight Polson fire

Posted at 8:45 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 11:43:52-04

PABLO — The Chairwoman of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) says tribal leaders are "continuing to offer prayers" for the families that have been affected by the blowup of the Boulder 2700 Fire.

Shelly Fyant told MTN News Thursday the tribe appreciates the efforts of all the agencies that have come together to help residents on the Flathead Reservation. And especially the Northern Rockies Type 2 team that jumped in to help earlier than scheduled, relieving exhausted fire fighters with CSKT Division of Fire and the local fire departments.

"They weren't schedule to come in until 1800 hours and they actually took it over at 0600. Just because our people, you know, had fought a hard battle at Boulder Creek. In addition we have another fire in the Jocko, the Crooks Fire, and so our crews were spent, but you know they continued to battle on."

Fyant is offering thanks to all the agencies, from the US Forest Service to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) that have come to the Reservation's aid.

She's also appreciative of Governor Greg Gianforte, who came for a briefing on the fire and the community's conditions on Thursday.

Fyant says it was amazing to see rural fire departments from all around the Mission Valley and Flathead Lake come to try to save lives and property that terrible night.

"They had a line but it was just the weather. You know, the winds, the extreme temperatures at 4 o'clock in the morning. And every rural fire department from Arlee to Bigfork responded. So, sometimes there's just nothing you can do," Fyant said with emotion. "You've given it your all. So we really appreciate that."

The Crooks Fire has now burned 1,000 acres in the South Fork Jocko Primitive Area, with 100 CSKT firefighters who are working to keep the blaze isolated to a "small footprint."