After the Mendenhall Fire: Local resources keep eyes on fire footprint a week after state moves out

A week after state resources packed up and moved out of the Sweet Grass County Fairgrounds, local departments are still managing the Mendenhall Fire.

While there’s not much left to do but wait for the greenery to return next year, Big Timber Volunteer Fire Department fire chief Kris Novotny said they’re still keeping an eye on the aftermath. 

“We’ve taken just one smoke call which happened to just be dust coming off of there,” Novotny said. “I’ve called some of the McLeod guys and they’ve gone up to look at it. But everything’s looking good.”

Novotny said they’ve had just one call since the DNRC left on Aug. 31, and it turned up to be nothing.

“I knew we had to get additional resources coming right away. We needed more help,” Novotny said. “Our guys did a good job of getting stuff done right off the bat.”

With very little lost, other than 1,275 acres of land, there won’t be much to rebuild. But the fire is all but in the past in minds of residents along the West Boulder.

“There will be some rehab on the fire lines, but we’ll meet with the state on that here in the future,” Novotny said. “We’re going to let it sit for a while and let things calm down. There’s really nothing available to do that right now.”

Check back with the Pioneer in the coming weeks for any further updates from the Mendenhall Fire. 

PHOTO CAPTION: A firefighter patrols some land around the McGuane's ranch on Aug. 25 after the Mendenhall Fire. (STEPHEN KALB-KOENIGSFELD / Big Timber Pioneer)

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