July 31, 2016
No sooner than we arrived, the Summer fire season started. The fire burning about five miles away was quickly named, The Roaring Lion Fire.
Here at the house the smoke eventually started rolling in on days the wind was blowing our direction. Bob and Janet, who have lived in this area for fourteen years, said every year at this time, there are fires in the surrounding forests. Some as far away as Idaho, which is just on the other side of the mountain. Usually the fires are not this close, but the smoke is still hard to deal with at times.
The Roaring Lion Fire eventually spread to almost 9,000 acres and last I heard, it had destroyed 16 homes and numerous out buildings over several weeks.
Since our town is so small, the effects of the fire and devastation were felt by everyone. The fairgrounds was opened up to displaced horses and other animals the first night and the Humane Shelter was almost full. Many neighbors and friends were donating their time and resources to help others out or support those fighting the fire in some way. The number of resources that eventually poured into to this quiet valley was amazing.
It was sad to see the impact of this fire first hand. Even though it was from a distance, it was scary to think the wind could push the fire any direction at any time. The one thing we did have in our favor was the fire was on the West side of the Bitterroot River.
The negative effects of this fire were huge, but it was nice to see the community come together, helping their neighbor.