Musical South African firefighters “tame the beast” as they help fight Montana wildfires

Posted at 11:59 AM, Aug 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-28 13:59:54-04

Fighting the Howe Ridge in Glacier National Park is a true team effort, with firefighters from across Montana and far beyond working to battle the flames.

Specialized wildland firefighters from South Africa have been in Montana for nearly a week now, making their way to Missoula and then to the Flathead.

Through music, the crews said on Twitter they expressed their enjoyment and pride in what they love best — "taming the beast" of wildfires.

NCC Environmental Services, a South African agency, says that the South African crews are performing a critical function in structure protection. They also noted: "Besides a change in landscape and vegetation type, the crew are also seeing animal species not found back home. This is a life changing experience for the crew."

Seven crews are deployed from South Africa.

The Howe Ridge Fire (Inciweb), which has forced evacuations on the west side of Glacier National Park, has burned an estimated 12,420 acres as of Tuesday, and is 12% contained.

The Boundary Fire (Inciweb) in the northeastern area of Glacier has burned an estimated 2,125 acres as of Tuesday, and there is no containment at this point. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

No injuries have been reported in either fire.

For a recorded Howe Ridge Fire update, call (406) 888-7077.For general Glacier National Park information, visit or call (406) 888-7800.

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