Residents express concern about Indian Creek Wildfire


Residents express concerns about Indian Creek Wildfire (8-9-13)

SHERIDAN, Mont. - When the fast moving fire broke out Thursday night, local residents said it caught them off guard.

Sheridan resident Ariel Felice-Fuller said, "I was scared for the people near it because I saw it and it was traveling pretty fast and it was pretty big, too."

Locals said the fire is unnerving, but it's something Montanans have to be prepared for, and it brings the town closer together.

Katie Ward explained, "everyone watches out for everyone and it's rare here because we don't have as much forest close to home, so it's very scary for any town this size."

Outside of Sheridan, volunteer firefighters are busy working to keep the blaze in check, while help from other agencies is on the way.

In town, it didn't take long to find people doing their part.

Hanna McParland and Alexis Woirhaye were at the grocery store.

"We're making sandwiches," Woirhaye said, "they're all up in the woods and we're making them sandwiches."

McParland said, "I think it's important because they are just volunteers so we volunteer to help them."

Others are impressed by the dedication of the firefighters.

Carol Delisi said, "we do have really great responders and the fact that most of our firefighters are volunteers is incredible."

Delisi lives on the outskirts of town, closer to the fire, and she said it's unsettling.

"The lightning," she said, "we can't control so it's a little bit scary that we can do everything we can but there is still going to be nature caused fires."

There was good news from the fire lines by late Friday morning. Cooler temperatures and humidity helped the firefighters get a handle on the flames.

District Ranger Ken Harris explained, "we thought we were going to have to go with a type-2 team, but with some exceptional work it looks like we're going to hold it here with a smaller team and take care of it with local resources."

Wildfires may make some uneasy, but locals said most people in town know what to do.

"I think Montanans are naturally prepared and ready to help their neighbors," said Ward.

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