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Denton devastated by fire - how you can help

Fire in Denton, Montana
Bridge over wolf creek coming into Denton
Wildfire near Denton in Fergus County
Posted at 11:19 AM, Dec 02, 2021

The town of Denton has been devastated by a fast-moving wildfire that forced all residents to evacuate on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

Although there have been no serious injuries, the fire destroyed approximately 25 structures, including grain elevators and bridges.

There are several ways that people can help the people affected by the fire.

  • 406 Gives: Monetary donations are now being accepted for the West Wind/ Denton Fire. ALL proceeds will go to support firefighting efforts and local home, business and ranch recovery. If you would like to donate by cash or check, you may leave donations at Stockman Bank or mail to Montana Winter Fair, PO Box 931, Lewistown, MT 59457. Checks should be made out to Montana Winter Fair with West Wind/ Denton Fire in the memo area. Please do not mail cash. Click here if you would like to donate.
  • Alicia Rutz has created a GoFundMe. It states: "A large fire is sweeping across this beautiful community and it’s still not contained, many homes and businesses have been lost and we need your help. It all adds up, so any amount you are willing to give will make a difference. Let’s rally together as a State and show Denton we are here!" Click here if you would like to donate.
  • Opportunity Bank of Montana has created the Denton Fire Relief Fund with an initial deposit of $2,500 and an additional $5,000 in matching donations to benefit victims and evacuees. Checks can be made payable to the Denton Fire Relief Fund and mailed to the bank at PO Box 1047, Denton, MT, or accepted at any Opportunity Bank branch statewide. Funds will be distributed through non-profit agencies directly to victims with immediate needs.
  • The Montana Winter Fair website has information about monetary and other donations - click here for details.
  • Donations (of all types - clothing, food, etc) are being accepted at the Fergus County Fairgrounds in the 4-H food both on Thursday, December 2nd.

We will post an update if we learn of any other fundraisers or donation drives.

Donations pour in for Denton fire victims

The community was ordered to evacuate at about 1:30 p.m. on due to the West Wind Fire, which sparked in Judith Basin County at about 11:15 p.m. on Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Strong winds quickly pushed the fire east across Highway 80 toward Denton.

Fergus County Sheriff Rick Vaughn said in a news release that they expect to release the community of Denton and surrounding areas from the evacuation status by noon on Thursday.

He added: "We encourage the community to not let its guard down as we expect high winds again today."

Bridge over wolf creek coming into Denton
Bridge over Wolf Creek coming into Denton

Only essential traffic will be allowed into the area as responders are still fighting the fire. The south side of Highway 81 in Denton still doesn’t have power as of 9:00 a.m.

Fergus County DES posted on Facebook: "Extreme winds caused the fire to enter the town of Denton. The wind not only spread the fire, it spread ash, embers, smoke and debris throughout town. Spot fires erupted between homes, vehicles and other buildings which pushed resources beyond their limits. Travel and visibility were very difficult. The weather also prohibited aircraft support which added to the problem."