Fires: A Compilation of Facebook Posts

Aaron Flint posted on July 05, 2012 15:21 :: 2113 Views

With a fire burning more than 248,000 acres in Montana, and weather conditions changing oftentimes two to three times a day, locals are turning to every media source available to stay informed.  

For at least one Broadus, Montana native, social media has been a way to get a sense of what her friends and neighbors near Ashland, Broadus, Lame Deer, and other parts of Southeast Montana are dealing with.  It’s also an opportunity to help tell a story she and others feel isn’t getting the national media attention it deserves.  

Broadus native Erika Bennett spent her Fourth of July holiday putting together a compilation of Facebook posts by friends. You can read her compilation of Facebook posts at the bottom of this page. 

Here’s one that stuck out to me:

“Today my Dad is 85 years old. Their home was just saved a few hours ago from a forest fire that almost got our home 2 nights ago.”

Meanwhile, there is now a “Support Those Affected By The Ash Creek Fire” Facebook page. Kimber Emmons captured this photo, and uploaded to the Facebook page.  Notice the firefighters at the bottom of the picture. (Photo posted here with permission from Kimber Emmons)



I know that the national media doesn’t think enough people are impacted to make it exciting. They usually lump it in with “all the Montana fires.”

People who aren’t from that area aren’t seeing the calls for help or the pictures of the walls and columns of fire filling the sky. I just want to emphasize — When there’s not enough professionals out here, it’s the volunteers who have to step in. And they are exhausted. The danger escalates every night.

Here are snippets from Facebook. Pulled from the last 24-hours.

Each quote represents a multi-generation ranch, an institution in the community. And a team of people working through the night to save it.

“Fire is at the FTY buildings and at Mom and Dads –they won’t leave, fighting it with their sprayer with the help of (three other people)”

“ was the scariest night ever…the wind changed and roared…and all u could do was get out of the way……u couldn’t see at all….the locals and volunteer firefighter were amazing…I cant express how much they have done”

“When the wind picked up last night i thought we were going to lose our fire line and then everything…. I am very proud of this community. Last night I saw faces of people that were 70 miles from their homes, helping. “

“Just checked my messages from last night, apparently I got a call at 9:15 pm to evacuate, that the fire was moving quickly, headed my way and the firemen were getting trapped.”

“The fire moved through so quickly last night, there was no time to turn on sprinklers or make fire lines and no firefighters were in the area. The fire burned right up to the green grass Dad has been watering”

“Just got a message that (family’s) buildings were saved thanks to our local guys… said it burned up to the fire guard on several sides… still lots of hot spots nearby”

“Everywhere, as far as you could see….lights flickering. Fire & smoke, men & women so exhausted their eyes looked like they were bleeding as the winds would come again & again to skip the fire across lines it took them hours to build. Thinking they’d mopped up one place only to hear, “we need help up here, it’s come back on the other side & making a run at the house again!” In the midst of destruction & chaos were the heartwarming moments, businesses from far & wide pulling into the yards with heavy equipment, tanker pickups, huge trailers of water asking, “where do you need me?!” If one had time to do so….it would make you cry.”

“Today my Dad is 85 years old. Their home was just saved a few hours ago from a forest fire that almost got our home 2 nights ago.”


“Fire broke lines and is smoking through our private property 1 mile southeast of house. Mom started sprinklers on the house. They would take any extra help they could get.”

“my Mom and Dad are alive and made it out, but it was very close. At about 10:00 60-70mph winds started blowing, they left immediately, but barely made it out the lane. They turned south and drove through walls of flames”

And the latest from “a few seconds ago”…..

“We see a new big plume of smoke tonight on the horizon. Anyone know about that?”
And so tonight, we just wait. Will the wind pick up again? Will there be 50 mph gusts and new lightning-strikes?

Terry Lynn Minow

Friday, July 06, 2012 11:51 AM

Thank you for posting these amazing stories and posts. It has been frustrating that there has previously been very little news about the Ash Creek fire, the biggest in the U.S.

Yesterday my Mom (she lives on Beaver Creek, which has often been on the front lines of the fire) was on the phone to someone from out of state who said, “There is a fire in Montana? I hadn’t heard that.” That is after 10 grueling days of people fighting for their lives, their way of life and their homes.

Thank God for the dedicated efforts of firefighters, ranchers & volunteers working together to fight this monster fire. Their brave stories need to be told! This is a great start.

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