HELENA — The Lewis and Clark Sheriff’s Office was recognized Thursday for their commitment to public safety when responding to wildfires in 2019.
The Tri-County Fire-Safe Working Group presented the organization with the Dave Larson Memorial Firefighter Safety Before Suppression Award, honoring their work in evacuating hundreds of homes threatened by the North Hills and Horsefly fires.
Wolf Creek Fire Chief Rocky Infanger praised the Sheriff’s department for their dedication to public safety and partnership with fire departments.
“When wildfires start in developed areas or move in that direction, it becomes necessary to evacuate the public to a safer environment,” said Infanger. “This also improves firefighter safety in high risk areas… The Lewis and Clark Sheriff’s Office is always there to lend their support and knowledge.”
Sheriff Leo Dutton says it’s an honor to receive the award, and really it represents the needed partnership between law enforcement and fire and how that relationship has improved over the past decade.
“We can do an all call with a lot of deputies,” said Dutton. “Reserve and regular are out there and sometimes even search and rescue is out helping manning road blocks. So we’re improved our relationship with the Forest Service, DNRC, rural fire, career fire, all of those kinds of things and the people who benefit are the citizens.”