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Roundup residents come together as Bobcat Fire burns south of town

Posted at 11:00 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 12:31:39-04

The Bobcat Fire south of Roundup has burned an estimated 20,000 acres, according to Musselshell DES Coordinator Andrew Harper, but the community has come together to help each other.

The fire is the latest disaster to hit the town of Roundup, which endured heavy flooding in 2011 and fires in 2012 and 2018.

A lot of the roads in the area have been closed off and are only open to emergency vehicles.

Airplanes and helicopters have been making passes over the fire.

At St. Benedict's Catholic Church in Roundup, the Knights of Columbus are leading the effort to feed firefighters.

"We are supplying meals to our firefighters here, wherever they're at," said John Albert, a Knights of Columbus member. "We prepare 'em, package 'em, put 'em in coolers, and then they come out and pick 'em up and make sure they have plenty of food. We not only have the Knights of Columbus involved, we have the entire community involved. They bring in food and stuff that we need and we just put it together, package it and take it out."

The American Red Cross is set up at the Roundup Community Center.

Because of COVID-19, there are no cots for sleeping and no meals served at the center.

"The evacuation center for people to touch base and check in. We're trying to be very very cognizant of COVID," said Abbra Firman, American Red Cross disaster response coordinator for eastern Montana. "When we have it available to be able to put folks in hotel rooms as opposed to have them in shelters, so as to help, one, keep everybody safe, and two, keep them healthy."

Volunteers have helped the Red Cross with delivering meals and donations.

"There have been wonderful members of the community that showed up with water and snacks and said 'please supply these to anyone who stops by or who's in need,'" Firman said. "So that's been really amazing to see the community come together like that. "

This week, the Knights of Columbus needed chapstick and food for the firefighters.

"We put out what our needs are and it always comes in abundance," Albert said. "The Good Lord is watching over all of us and he provides for all of our needs."

Harper said a Northern Rockies Type II Incident management team is setting up at the Musselshell County Fairgrounds and will take command at 6 a.m. on Friday.

Ranchers are helping each other, with the fairgrounds serving as the safe spot for cattle and horses.