The Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation is dedicating a stretch of Highway 83 to Grayback Wildland Firefighter Trenton Johnson. Johnson passed away defending the community of Seeley Lake from the 2017 Florence Fire. Clearwater Unit Manager Kristen Baker-Dickinson explains.

“In March of this year, Governor Bullock signed SB 260, which dedicated an eight-mile stretch of Highway 83 as the Trenton Johnson Memorial Highway,” Baker-Dickinson said. “This Friday, July 19, they will be performing that dedication in Seeley Lake.”

According to Baker-Dickinson, this is a great opportunity to honor and remember Johnson.

“Trenton Johnson’s sister, DJ Johnson, reached out to the local Seeley Lake Ranger District, who in turn reached out the Montana DNRC, in an effort to bring everyone together for this highway dedication,” Baker-Dickinson said. “I think it reflects how close knit we are and that every loss is devastating. At times like this, we hope to support one another as well as the firefighter’s family.”

The dedicated stretch of Highway 83 is from mile marker 13 to mile marker 21. Family, friends, community members and partners will gather at 10 a.m. on Friday for words of remembrance.

“We have Montana State Forester Sonya Germann speaking, Carolyn Upton who is the Lolo National Forest Supervisor, Vicki Minor who is the Executive Director and Founder of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, a representative from Grayback Forestry who Trenton was working for at the time of his demise, as well as DJ Johnson, the sister of Trenton Johnson,” Baker-Dickinson said.

After those words or remembrance, Missoula County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier will deliver a proclamation. Community members are welcome to attend the event at the grass field next to Lindy’s Prime Steak House in Seeley Lake. Johnson was a native of Missoula and Baker-Dickinson says he will be remembered for his positivity, ability to make everyone smile, leadership and excitement for life.

photo Courtesy of Montana DNRC
photo Courtesy of Montana DNRC