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Montana firefighters head to California to help with deadly wildfires

Posted at 4:25 AM, Nov 12, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:51:07-04

Fire crews in California were making progress on the Woolsey Fire with Cal Fire Sunday. The containment had increased to 10 percent.

However, strong winds were expected to return Sunday afternoon through Tuesday, which could make it difficult for firefighters.

Montana fire crews are stepping up and heading to California to help in any way they can and are sending close to 100 firefighters and about 20 fire engines.

Three fire trucks from Columbus and Red Lodge hit the road Sunday morning.

Fire Chief  Rich Cowger of the Columbus rural fire district said it is only natural for them to send help south.

“That’s what we do. As a fire service in particular. We’re having a conference down here where we talk about how we are family. It’s what we do and what our mission statements are,” Cowger said. “Protecting the citizens that we serve. Those folks in California, are having the ultimate of bad days, and in fact they have had the ultimate of bad days for quite some time now.  I think for our department alone this is our third deployment down to California. That’s the main concern. That’s why they are going down there, not only to for them to stay safe.  But to help other folks that are down there. Those firefighters are overworked and overwhelmed. That’s part of the purpose is to keep those guys safe.”