People from the community of Mammoth have been displaced for almost two weeks. They were forced to evacuate their homes on June 25th due to the Pony Fire and they weren't sure of when or if they would ever see their homes again. But with the fire at 85% containment, those folks are finally able to make their way home.
"At 9 o'clock this morning when we came back up we were thrilled to see everything standing and pretty much everything in tact. The fire crews have done a wonderful job trying to protect everything and at the same time keep the beauty of this area, which we really love," said Mammoth resident David Klem. Klem had around 20 family members there as soon as he was given the ok to return.
"At this point the fire is 85% contained meaning that 85% of the perimeter is safe and that the fire would not escape through the fire line," Information Officer Glenda Scott said.
A crew of nearly 400 people have been working on the Pony Fire, putting in 16 plus hour days to save the forest as well as the homes of people from Mammoth.
"This is on forest service land, but also there's all kinds of state agencies, private firefighting crews, other federal agencies, tribal, government, so there's a whole variety, we call it an inter-agency," said Scott.
Klem said it's difficult to sit and wait, not having any control over the situation.
"It's our home, and the idea that there could be fire coming around, that there could be destruction, there could be things go wrong that we didn't know about until we got back, it weighs on your mind," he said.
Officials say this fire is unusual because typically Montana fire season is in late July or early August, and that could mean more potential fire activity as the summer rolls on.
But for now residents are happy to be home, and have learned from the situation.
"I think certainly it'll spur a lot of thought about how we appreciate what we have and how we show that appreciation," Klem said.