This fire season, over 850 Montana National Guard service members joined the forest fire fight in various capacities and Montana National Guard helicopters flew on 16 different fires.

The Northern Rockies Multi-Agency Coordination Group (MAC) singled out the National Guard as a great success. In a statement this week, Doug Turman, Incident Commander for the Lolo Peak Fire, said, "The National Guard is a great asset; they do great work, bring lots of energy and came to help at a time when we really needed them."

The Guard formed firefighting hand crews, served on engines and water tenders, provided security checkpoints in evacuated areas and helped with radio communication.
Three Blackhawk helicopters and two Chinook helicopters were also called to service.

National Guard members were at the Meyers Fire, Lolo Peak Fire, West Fork Fire, Sapphire complex, Highway 200 Complex, rice Ridge Fire and Caribou Fire. They also helped the cities of Helena, Missoula and Kalispell.

Governor Steve Bullock called out the National Guard as the fire season increased in intensity this summer. Over a million acres burned.

Mike DeGrosky, Vice Chair of the Northern Rockies Coordination Group said, "This partnership is of great value and it only continues to grow and strengthen."