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Iowa DNR sending firefighters to Montana and Texas

  • 8/1/2023 12:03:00 PM
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AMES – As wildfires continue to rage in parts of the west, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fire Program has started to dispatch wildland firefighters to Montana and Texas.

The fire program recently sent seven Iowa wildland firefighters to Montana to the Bowles Creek Fire. Seven wildland firefighters along with 13 others from Missouri are headed to the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. 

“The hand crew is headed to the Bowles Creek Fire, just east of Hamilton, Montana,” said Ryan Schlater, contract fire specialist, with the Iowa DNR’s Fire Program.  “The fire is located in some very rugged, steep country partially in a wilderness area of the forest, which presents more access issues.”

Three wildland firefighters along with the DNR type 6 fire engine are in Texas fighting wildfires.

Iowa DNR fire staff watch the daily fire behavior and monitor new fire starts. Current hotspots include the southwest United States, with new fires in New Mexico, Arizona and southwest Colorado.

“We have more firefighters available and ready to go once resource orders come in,” explains Schlater. 

The fire program has been sending wildland firefighters to national incidents since 2006. The Iowa DNR fire program has sent resources to most of the lower 48 states and Alaska in the past.

For more information, contact Gail Kantak at 515-689-0083.