DENTON — The Taylor Fire (Inciweb) in Fergus County has burned an estimated 27,178 acres; there are 164 personnel assigned to the fire, which sparked on Sunday, August 1. It is burning between Denton and Winifred; the cause of the fire has not yet been determined. At this point, there are no reports of injuries to people or of damaged structures, but we have received some reports of livestock dying.
While firefighters are out on the front lines, their families and community members are working behind the scenes to ensure they are fed and taken care of.
The town of Denton has come together in response to the Taylor Fire and volunteers have received countless food and drink donations to go to the firefighters. The cafeteria isn’t able to be used for another few weeks, but it is already packed with boxes of food and drinks, ready to be taken out to the front lines so firefighters are taken care of.
Heather DeVries coordinates with her husband, the fire chief of Denton, and oversees organizing the donations and said the town got together in the blink of an eye to help. It took some extra help when the fire started on Sunday, but help was found in abundance.
“He’s a hard guy to keep track of sometimes,” DeVries said jokingly. “Living in Denton, the produce is hard to come up with on a Sunday afternoon in a small town. There’s only one grocery store and they’re not open on Sundays. Once the word gets out in these small towns, stuff shows up and so now we’re taking what’s here and getting it to the best places.”
DeVries says they are overwhelmed with the donations they’ve already gotten but adds it’s a good problem to have.
“We can feed them. We can get that done. And supplies keep coming in. We’re just making the best decisions we can getting some out to the lines and some out to the fire departments,” DeVries said.
She added that cash donations help the most but is glad to see so many people pitching in: “This is central Montana in action. It’s what they do.”
Donations can be made to the Farmer’s State Bank in Denton and Big Sky Fire Equipment in Lewistown.
According to Baylee Kinkelaar Hauger of Winifred, you can also send donations to the Winifred Rural Fire Department, PO Box 183, Winifred, MT, 59489; or call the Winifred Grocery Store at 406-462-5444 to donate.