WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — The community of White Sulphur Springs is working to help people affected by the Deep Creek Canyon wildfire, which has burned an estimated 2,000 acres along Highway 12 southwest of the town.
Located between Townsend and White Sulphur Springs, the Deep Creek Fire was reported on Sunday, June 13. There have been no reported injuries; the cause of the fire is not yet known.
On Wednesday morning, chef Hal Martin was busy in the White Sulphur Springs Senior Center kitchen preparing sweet and sour chicken for lunch for people in need of a meal.
"It's the least we could do to help people that have been displaced or help people that are fighting the fire. No matter what they're doing to help with this situation, it's our pleasure to feed whoever will come in,” he explained.
Martin added: “It makes me feel very blessed that I'm in the position that I can do something like this. It's all paying it forward and it takes a village."
The Senior Center isn't the only White Sulphur Springs business providing meals for people in need during the fire.
Stageline Pizza provided pizza Tuesday night, and breakfast was ordered Wednesday morning from the Branding Iron.
Branding Iron owner J.D. Walker was happy to fill the order: "It's a good feeling because we fully believe if we support the people, the people will support us.”
Walker said he was prepared to handle additional orders that come in as a result of the fire. "We figured things would kind of blow up so we did order in extra food and stuff for the week,” Walker said.
A Facebook Live fire update is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Wednesday on the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest Facebook page.
In-person attendance for the update was also being permitted at the senior center at Townsend School in Townsend.
A Red Cross evacuation center is also open in White Sulphur Springs at the Senior Center.
Red Cross volunteer Laura Taylor said the agency is prepared to help people with any needs they may have.
Taylor explained, "We can provide mental health assistance, we can help with medications that have been lost, lodging, meals. We also have things in place to help folks with their livestock and pets."
She continued, “We have the capability to set up a shelter and be able to lodge folks overnight. We have access to this building as well as the high school and the ambulance station.”
Taylor said the evacuation center will be open as long as necessary; anyone who needs assistance when someone is not at the Senior Center can call 1-800-272-6668.
A helicopter from the Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation had a "hard landing" on Tuesday; all five occupants survived. Click here for details.
Click here for more information about the Deep Creek Fire on the Inciweb site.