Montana Talks logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

We had a rash of fires start all over our state yesterday including evacuation orders for folks near Roundup and the entire town of Jordan.

Can you imagine getting a knock on your door and somebody telling you that you've got five minutes to grab whatever is important to you and get the heck out of there? Thankfully, that has never happened to me. But I know a lot of folks that it has.

One silver-lining during fire season is the neighbors that step up to help each other when fires come. I saw a couple of posts this morning from ranchers thanking all of the neighbors and friends who helped save their houses and outbuildings.

In the summer of 1985, I applied to be both a firefighter and/or a bus driver to haul the firefighters from fire to fire. Fortunately, I got a bus driving job. I think it paid sixteen bucks an hour. And you got paid for sixteen hours each day, which meant that by the middle of the day Wednesday you were on overtime pay. Score.

The part they don' talk too much about front is the part where you have to drive a seventy-two passenger school bus up some of the most incredibly winding, narrowest roads that have been carved out of the side of the mountain.

Fire camps were a bit more primitive then. Not all camps had portable showers and some didn't have tents for the exhausted firefighters to sleep in. But that didn't seem to matter to them. All they needed was a spot on the ground that was relatively flat.

I guess when you log twelve or more hours in long sleeves and long pants in hundred-degree heat, you can sleep just about anywhere.

UP NEXT: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

More From Montana Talks