A fire sparked about 10 miles north of Choteau west of Highway 220 on Wednesday, August 23, 2023.
It happened at about 2:45 p.m., and initial reports indicate it was likely caused by a combine as it was cutting crop and quickly grew, fueled by strong winds and dry conditions.
Firefighters from Pendroy, Fairfield, Choteau, and nearby Hutterite colonies quickly jumped into action.
Witnesses say flames reached as high as 50 feet. Nearly a dozen nearby structures were threatened but none sustained any damage.
Many farmers and ranchers were able to use their own equipment to help fire crews.
Busineses in Choteau, including John Henry’s and Outpost Deli, provided meals for those battling the fire.
Choteau mayor Chris Hindoien expressed his appreciation on Facebook, including these words of gratitude:
Thank you to the Fairfield Crew who responded, stopped and refueled before heading south as well. Pendroy Fire & Rescue, you are greatly appreciated. To Choteau EMS - Thank you Ken and Sherwin for being there on standby. Once again the Teton Sheriff Dispatch office handled their heavy radio traffic load as the true professionals they are.
Fortunately, there were no injuries reported.
The fire burned nearly 300 acres, and crews will be stationed on site overnight and likely the next couple of days to perform mop-up duty.
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