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Golden Pen Award: Quick wildfire reponses saved homes

Golden Pen Award: Quick wildfire reponses saved homes

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The summer of 2012 was a long, hot and very dry fire season that resulted in over a million acres and hundreds of buildings consumed by fire. Record books will show this summer's wildfires consumed the most Montana acreage since 1919. What the record books will not show is the number of acres protected from fire by the quick rural fire department response, the number of homes saved by firefighters and the number of lives that their dedication has impacted.

The Northern Rockies Coordinating Group, made up of all the wildfire agencies within Montana, North Dakota and Idaho, recognize the incredible effort put forth by local fire departments. Without the hard work and long hours put in by local fire departments, many fires would have grown beyond initial attack and inflicted more damage to the Montana countryside.

Because of the number of large fires this year, not everyone is aware of the thousands of small fires that were suppressed by local firefighters. Although the large, out-of-control wildfires make the news, the demanding work of the local fire department does not go unnoticed. This fire season was a powerful demonstration of neighbor helping neighbor as departments came together for a common cause.

The Northern Rockies Coordinating Group would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for the support and hard work provided by these fire departments during the 2012 fire season. Their dedication is greatly appreciated.

Mike Dannenberg

Montana-Dakotas BLM

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