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Gering Fire Department sending help to assist with Montana wildfires

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (KNEP) - Montana is facing some severe wildfires and their personnel is stretched thin. They are asking for outside help and the Gering Fire Department is answering the call.

Gering Fire Department says father Darrell Vance and his son Jeff Vance along with Jeremy Cripps were sent last Thursday. They are just north of Kalispell, Montana 20 miles from the Canadian border. The fire consumption is up to 1,900 acres and it continues to grow. The three firefighters will return this Thursday and will switch out as Fire Chief Nathan Flowers, Dick Cochrane and Jacob Pittman will head to Montana.

“We’re sleeping in tents showers very minimal we’re in the wilderness so there is no cell phone,” said Nathan Flowers Gering Fire Chief. “There is very minimal stuff and a lot of our guys like that a lot of us enjoy forests and enjoy the outdoors physically it’s not too bad.”

Gering Fire Department said firefighters are on a seven day rotation when three return home three fresh new firefighters go out to Montana. Also one engine is out there for service as well. The department receives daily updates from the firefighters.

“They’re working with deploying hose lines working with some of those areas that need to be cooled off working with aircraft to suppress fires from the air,” said Flowers. “They’re not doing any hiking or ground work because it is pretty rough country up there.”

Gering Fire Department says full containment of the fire is expected by September 30.