Crews from Missoula Rural Fire and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation were called out to a grass fire near the tree line up Pattee Canyon early Thursday afternoon.

Speaking to KGVO from the scene was Assistant Fire Chief Brent Christopherson, ironically from an address on Burning Tree Lane.

“The first arriving engine reported a fire estimated at one half to one acre fire burning actively with two to three flame lengths,” said Christopherson. “We aggressively started the attack around the perimeter of the fire and got the fire stopped at about 1.7 acres.”

Christopherson said Missoula Rural Fire received assistance in fighting the fire.

“Missoula Rural Fire was assisted by the DNRC (Department of Natural Resources and Conservation) and Missoula City Fire Department,” he said. “We're still looking at what the cause was, however, we had an active burn permit at that address that was issued, so we're still looking into what happened there.”

Christopherson said with the windy conditions throughout western Montana recently, burning should be done with the greatest of care and supervision.

“We'd just like to remind everybody that does acquire burning permits to abide by the rules and take the necessary precautions before burning and to monitor the fire throughout the burn time frame.”

Christopherson tapped that nail again, reminding residents in forested areas to be careful with fire.

“We're just trying to educate the folks to be especially careful,” he said. “They have to monitor their fire, have water and the proper tools around when they are starting the fire and when the fire seems to be out, a lot of times really isn't, so people just need to take precautions just like with a campfire or anything else. They need to make sure that it is completely out.”

Christopherson said in extreme circumstances of neglect or of burning without a permit, the homeowner could be charged with the cost of fighting the fire.

No injuries were reported.


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