Monday, January 22, 2018

Pine Crest homeowners: Thanks just seems so small

We were on the edge of the Pine Crest Fire and we just want to thank the many people who affected us. We didn’t lose any animals, buildings or possessions, other than some fence posts, grass and quite a few trees.
Columbus Volunteer Fire Department, you were stretched thin with the length and depth and intensity of this fast running fire. Yet, we had two trucks and two crews that gave us hope that we wouldn’t be forgotten. We saw courage in those teams. One crew and truck stayed with us and the other went up the hill and saved a neighbor’s home at the risk of their own lives. Thank you!
We know that throughout the fire’s reach there were many of the local volunteer fire departments who worked to protect the property of others. Thank you!
Stillwater County, you brought in the grader and put down the fire lines across our pasture and that aided is stopping more damage. Thank you!
The next morning, the cavalry arrived. Trucks with BLM, Forest Service, and DNRC logos on them poured in. We met teams from Culbertson, Seeley Lake, Garfield County, Malta, Helena, Townsend, Miles City and points in between. You were from everywhere and every time we looked outside, at least one of you were there to reassure us that you had it all under control. Nothing is better than seeing one of your teams working and getting the hot spots shut down. The winds came as predicted Wednesday and not a puff of smoke was seen by us. Great job, well done and thank you!
The team commanders and the teams themselves wereprofessional, cordial, knowledgable, responsible and always willing to stop and answer questions and concerns. Being from “it’s a small world Montana,” we met guys and gals who knew someone we knew. We saw many of them drive through so often that they became friends that we’ll probably never see again, but will share with the next people who will count on them for saftey. Thank you!
Gazette photographer Larry Mayer, you got the shot, from the interstate, of the fire coming down on us and turning up the hill just before getting to our barns. Relatives in Helena called and said we made the front page. We will keep that photo as a reminder that grazing, trimming trees, mowing and having a green area around our buildings work. Thank you!
Neighbors, friends, old students of ours, and people we have never met called, texted and contacted us to see how they could help with the horses and our comforts. Thank you!
So many people were involved and we know we may have forgotten to thank you by name or title but are included. Thank you.
But most of all, we want to thank the man upstairs that probably heard from us more in the last few days than He has for a while.
You have reunited neighbors. We saw your miracles. We will be reminded of them again when the green grass peeks through the black and gray ash. Thank you!
Bob and Jill Ouren
Park City