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A resident's letter to friends and family:
Date: Friday, August 11, 2017, 2:07 PM

 

A resident's letter to friends and family:
Date: Friday, August 11, 2017, 2:07 PM

This fire is not going away overnight!  Here is a video of just a small part of our fire:
Lolo National Forest Facebook video

Besides the crews working the direct fire, we have firetrucks from all over the nation swarming our community during the day. I see the names of their towns/counties/ states on their different trucks. It's reassuring, but only 10 people patrol the whole community all night. And huge ashes fall. For three nights in a row we could watch the trees torching on the mountain... and night before last there was a pink cloud rising from one of the valleys that looked like Mordor from Lord of the Rings (a fire and brimstone place of the underworld).  Sleep can be sporadic. Wake up- look outside, check the hot spot map on my phone, listen... but pray never to hear the dreaded siren wail incase the order comes to evacuate.  Ah! To return to a quiet little clean air mountain lake town that no one has heard of!  We are under an evacuation warning which means stay packed and listen for the siren ORDER to evacuate.  A man at the 4th fire meeting at the high school last night asked, "If we leave home to go to the ice-cream shop and the
evac order comes, will we be allowed to go back home to get the pets?"...the answer is NO.  Stay home or take the pets everywhere. Andy and I only go to fire meetings together.  Otherwise one of us stays here to take the cats.  Air quality is dangerous.  At least our home is very airtight and it gets cool enough at night to keep the house shut up during the hot day.  I have an essential oil diffuser that I can use in the bedroom. But the cats are not allowed in if I use it.  Bad for their livers! :~0

I am one of few who wear an N95 ventilator mask outside. Andy's great idea. Home Depot in Missoula has them. Or order from Amazon like we did the fire resistant tarps for the woodpiles.  95% of the huge woodpiles in the area are uncovered. I will put a drop of a breathe essential oil in my mask. Children are advised not to play outside.   People have been advised to leave for health reasons but gosh!...the whole country has bad air from all the fires in the US and Canada! Where do you go? 

 Our town is making national news:
The NY Times - Opinion- In Montana, Days of Smoke and Ash by Todd Tanner

I regret to say that when they say "desiccated forests" in that article, that there should be a disclaimer.  Many good legal bills that would have helped prevent a fire of this magnitude, have been shot down because the "environmental greenies" get enough votes to prevent the select clearing of our national forests.  We should be cutting down beetle kill trees and weeding out undergrowth and overgrowth.  I love the woods natural but the national forests are not the wilderness areas where the fires are allowed to rage because it is a natural occurrence for the wilderness, and wilderness areas are inaccessible usually to firefighters who are even at this time maxed out with fires all over the country trying to save lives, structures and national forests.  Our fire here would not be as bad if the legal bills were not shot down to do thinning and cleaning of old undergrowth and beetle kill trees on the Rice Ridge.  The deluded "environmentalists" think they are saving the habitat of the wild Canadian lynx, but now look!  The lynx has far less woods to roam because their habitat has burned up; all that wood is wasted that could have been selectively logged and harvested for firewood by locals.  Now, the wood is burning and causing us to inhale dangerous smoke and fumes.  Because of these bleeding heart liberals, this fire is bleeding our state of money that we need elsewhere, people's homes and lives are in danger... and firefighters have died and been injured.  This must change.

Perhaps we can get enough people to understand this needed action to vote properly to save lots of areas from being burned, spending our states monies on fighting wildfires and endangering our air quality, homes and lives. Sometimes leaving the forests alone to protect one tree from being cut down is not the best answer but proper management would save us all grief in the long run.  I like to volunteer in different ways...this campaign will now be one of them. You animal lovers can help protect the animals habitat by doing this too. I guess unless it does not affect you directly you may not understand the great need.  It's hard to contain a big fire if large embers due to winds and updrafts, jump the ground line work.