Lifestyles - 09-03-2008

Montana wildfires...

Locals evacuated during recent visit with relatives

While visiting his children in Montana during July, Harvey Kling and Ginni Bowes, both of Bamberg, experienced one of Montana’s “weather fires” -- fire that is started by weather such as lightning.

Kling and Bowes, along with his daughter, Pat Burg and her husband, John, were evacuated from their cabin at Grizzly Pointe, north of Red Lodge, Montana.

Red Lodge, Kling said, is a tourist town that caters to skiing during the winter and climbing, hiking and fishing during the summers.

“As we got to the highest point,” he recalls, “we looked down and saw smoke.

Kling’s daughter, Pat, and her husband, John said ‘I don’t like this. We’d better go back down,’ so we turned around and headed back to our cabin near Red Lodge.

When we made it to the gate, sheriff’s officers and the fire chief told us that we’d have to evacuate. The fire came within one mile of Grizzly Pointe.”

“Approximately 100,000 acres burned in this fire and the fires are still smoldering as we speak,” said Kling.

Kling said as they were leaving to come back home, four World War II bombers were flying in with flame retardant to put out the fires. The fires will probably smolder until the first good snow, which will probably be in October.

Near-record heat and low humidity fueled blazes in Montana.

"The country is indescribable,” Kling said. "It’s absolutely beautiful up there in the Big Sky Country.”

Oh and by the way, Harvey did contact the American Red Cross to see if they had every thing under control in Montana.