"Neighbors helping neighbors...these are the stories needing told." That's what Montana rancher Jim Felton shared late last week after witnessing the Richard Spring Fire in Eastern Montana firsthand.

Felton: We feel fortunate to have escaped with minor losses with this fire. Dodged a big bullet. Some of our neighbors weren’t so lucky and I mean a big swath was blackened. This is the story that needs telling. Neighbors helping neighbors punch in fire line at midnight. Neighboring Powder River County volunteer fire dept and road crew sending the A squad to help pinch it out before she went to otter or broadus today.... Guys opening gates for neighbors yearlings spilling out of the hills with flames on their ass. Cattle mixed up but they will get straightened up in time..... these are the stories needing told....

Many of you know Jim from the Felton Angus Bull Sale in Springdale, Montana- which is between Livingston and Big Timber. He also has a ranch north of Ashland. Here's part of what he had to tell us on the radio:

Felton: When you see the neighbors chipping in and getting the cattle out in front of the flames, and opening gates, cutting gates, building out fire line at midnight...there's a lot of stuff goes on that we should be talking about that kind of makes a person feel good about himself or about what's going on out in the real world instead of all the negativities.

Where we're at- over 10 to 12 miles north of Ashland- just north of the Amish settlement there...they were able to protect all the Amish houses there with retardants and got it stopped and then it kind of went North a little bit...it's gonna be a mess for a while down there Aaron and you know it's already trying times, like I said, with the drought and feed situation and grasshoppers and unfortunately I don't think this is the end of fire season yet.


Full audio with Jim Felton:

KTVQ-TV reports that evacuation notices on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation have now been downgraded thanks to firefighting efforts. The latest update is also featured on the InciWeb website:

Highway 212 is currently closed between Broadus and Crow Agency to all non-residents. Highway 39 is currently open, but this could change at any time due to potential for changing conditions. Residents should continue to check Rosebud County Sheriff’s and DES Facebook pages, Northern Cheyenne Disaster & Emergency Services Facebook page, as well as the Richard Spring InciWeb page, as evacuation and road closure status are being evaluated frequently and could change rapidly.


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