Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

Rocky Mountain Adventure Gear - For all Your Motorized and Non-Motorized Adventures!

By Sigrid Olson

Concerned Yet Reaching Out


August 10, 2017

Sigrid Olson, Pathfinder

Greenough/Potomac Volunteer Fire Chief Ryan Hall explaining the location of the Liberty Fire to Potomac resident Brittany Nowak.

POTOMAC - Liberty Fire personnel hosted an informational meeting in Potomac Aug. 5 that provided updates and addressed residents' concerns. The Potomac community has also stepped up with resources to help the Seeley Lake community.

Fires impacting the area include the Rice Ridge Fire two miles northeast of Seeley Lake and the Liberty Fire, three miles east of Boulder Lake and 12 miles north of Johnsrud Park.

Liberty Fire Incident Commander Jerry McGowan explained where the fire is located, area closures, where firelines have been dug and future fire control plans.

McGowan stated that the Liberty Fire is a great example of cooperation during this fire season. His Type 1 Team from California has been working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs Flathead Agency, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, Lolo National Forest, Red Cross, the Missoula and Lake County Sheriff's Offices and Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. According to fire personnel, formulating and implementing a fire control plan has gone well due to the close relationship with these agencies.

McGowan sleeps in a tent during fires. "Last night my tent was blowing and flapping all around me [due to wind]," he said, "But the [Liberty] fire hardly moved."

Greenough/Potomac Volunteer Chief Ryan Hall reminded attendees the particulars of Stage II Restrictions. He also stressed the importance of the Smart 911 program encouraging everyone to sign up. Visit for more information.

A Red Cross Shelter has been in place at the Potomac/Greenough Community Center since Aug. 3. It will remain on stand-by in the event anyone is displaced and evacuated due to fire.

Potomac residents and The Paws Up Resort have opened their pastures and pens for evacuated animals. Camp Utmost near Clearwater Junction offered a place to store trailers, RV's, boats, vehicles and other large items residents wanted removed from the Seeley area.

For more information on the Liberty or Rice Ridge Fires including trail and road closures visit


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