Many Montana firefighters have deployed to other states to help with wildfires.
According to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), close to 20 Montana firefighters have been deployed to other states with more Montana Engine Strike Teams ready to deploy to California. Nine firefighters are already in California with most of them helping with the 2,100-acre Woodward fire.
In wildfire season, the DNRC strategically places resources across the state to provide quick response to any wildfire.
With a pandemic looming over those resources, the DNRC is working with health departments to ensure the safety of Montana firefighters across the state and out of state by providing health screenings and safety equipment among other things.
“Our actual mobilization processes and allocation processes have not changed, but we did know that we would have to deal with COVID-19,” says John Monzie, the Fire Protections Deputy Chief for the DNRC. “So, we have guidelines to keep our firefighters healthy whether it is a firefighter in Oregon or a firefighter in Montana. That way, we can still mobilize nationally when we need to."