New pavilion at Montana City's Firewise Demonstration Garden in construction

Firewise Pavilion.jpg
Posted at 4:54 PM, Oct 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-13 11:20:22-04

HELENA — MTN visited the Firewise Demonstration Garden in Montana City on Thursday where a new pavilion is in the process of being built.

“It is to demonstrate firewise construction techniques. And it's a different kind of construction, something else to think about that, just like the rest of the garden, just ideas for what you can do around your home,” says Lois Olsen, volunteer project manager for the firewise garden and president of the Tri-County FireSafe Working Group Board.

Drought-tolerant and fire-resistant plants can not only help your property look good but can also help mitigate fire risk.

The Firewise Demonstration Garden in Montana City is a great way to get plant and tree ideas for your property. And now a new pavilion, in honor and memory of Sonny Stiger, can lend ideas to homeowners for fire-resistant shelters.

“Well, that's the whole idea of this kind of landscaping is protect any structure you have, whether it's your barn or your home or your shed, to try to get the fire where it's really not going to carry through something. It may burn part of it, in this case perhaps it could get up into those rafters, but it would have to work pretty hard to get there,” says Olsen.

The new pavilion will feature such fire-resistant building materials such as steel beams, a metal roof, steel doors, woven wire enclosed rock, and fire-resistant walls.

Having fire-resistant plants, trees, and structures around your home is necessary in our wildfire-prone state, says Olsen.

“So, the idea is it will hit something that really is not flammable, go to the ground, and then can be controlled,” says Olsen.

Olsen says that the pavilion will hopefully be completed by the end of this month.