POLSON — When the Boulder 2700 fire flared up early Sunday morning firefighters with the Finley Point Yellow Bay Fire Department were some of the first on the scene as high winds shifted the wildfire out of control.
Some volunteer firefighters worked 35-plus straight hours to help save their neighbor's homes.
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“As far as the fire the last few days it’s an extraordinarily hot fire, we’ve got a lot of dead fall on the ground and it’s not helping the situation that this hillside hasn’t burned in a long time." - Finley Point Yellow Bay Fire Department Lieutenant Bryce Muench
Muench said firefighters worked around the clock to protect as many homes as possible early Sunday morning when high winds flared the Boulder 2700 fire out of control. He said cooler temperatures and moisture Sunday night into Monday have helped firefighters protect homes.
“We’ve got our hands around it, structures at this moment are in a safer condition than they have been the last few days, I’m confident that this weather today is helping things, and we’re doing the best we can at this point,” said Muench.
Finley Point Yellow Bay Fire Chief Brent Burland said the hillside on fire near Finley Point hasn’t burned in close to 100 years. He’s worried Tuesday's predicted dry and warmer temperatures will flare conditions right back up.
“Right now, it seems calm and cool, but I think tomorrow’s going to be another story,” said Burland.
Burland said fighting this wildfire brings extreme challenges due to the steep rugged terrain of the Mission Mountains.
“Right now, you still got trees standing, a lot of underbrush has burned and is still smoldering, but again you know those 1,000-hour fuels, some of it is still standing and burning as we speak, and when it gets hot again it’s going to just light back up." - Finley Point Yellow Bay Fire Chief Brent Burland
He said his fire department will now be assisting the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team with anything they need. “We’re going to stage equipment for them to access whenever needed,” added Burland.
Muench asks Finley Point residents to be patient and understanding as firefighters work to contain the fire and lift evacuations.
“I know it’s frustrating, I know it’s scary, right now it is under control as far the homes are concerned, but as far as getting back for pets and clothing, at this point, we just ask for everyone’s understanding, we’re doing the best we can and hopefully this will get cleaned up,” said Muench.
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