DENTON — Governor Greg Gianforte visited the town of Denton on Friday to meet with people affected by the devastating West Wind Fire that ripped through the town on Wednesday.
Denton was evacuated just minutes before the fast-moving fire swept across the town. While there were no serious injuries reported, the fire destroyed or damaged many structures, including grain elevators and a bridge.
According to initial damage assessments, 25 primary residential structures were destroyed, along with 18 secondary structures and six commercial properties.
The fire burned more than 10,000 acres, and more than 150 personnel were assigned to fight it (Inciweb).
Gianforte said, "I wanted to come up and see it first-hand and let the people know that at the state level, we are thinking about them and we are going to support them in any way we can to help rebuild.”
There will be a community meeting on Saturday, December 4, at 10 a.m. in the Denton High School auditorium (1200 Lehman Street).
The Fergus County Sheriff’s Office released a partial list of properties that were destroyed; a more comprehensive list will be released as damage assessments continue.
- 1210 Buena Vista
- 600 Main St 700 Lehman
- 610 Main St 701 Lehman
- 612 Main St 702 Lehman
- 616 Main St 703 Lehman
- 618 Main St 706 Lehman
- 716 Main St 710 Lehman
- 804 Lehman 815 Lehman
- 819 Lehman 910 Lehman
- 305 Railroad Ave 505 Railroad Ave
- 205 Keirstad 207 Keirstad
- 209 Keirstad 211 Keirstad
- 201 Ketchner 505 Ketchner
If you have been displaced due to the loss of your house, you're asked to call the American Red Cross at 1-800-272-6668 or stop by the Civic Center 309 5th Avenue South in Lewistown. You can also call the Salvation Army at 406-366-2982 or 206-280-9787.
Here are some ways that people can help the affected people:
- 406 Gives: Monetary donations are now being accepted for the West Wind/ Denton Fire. ALL proceeds will go to support firefighting efforts and local home, business and ranch recovery. If you would like to donate by cash or check, you may leave donations at Stockman Bank or mail to Montana Winter Fair, PO Box 931, Lewistown, MT 59457. Checks should be made out to Montana Winter Fair with West Wind/ Denton Fire in the memo area. Please do not mail cash. Click here if you would like to donate.
- Alicia Rutz has created a GoFundMe. It states: "A large fire is sweeping across this beautiful community and it’s still not contained, many homes and businesses have been lost and we need your help. It all adds up, so any amount you are willing to give will make a difference. Let’s rally together as a State and show Denton we are here!" Click here if you would like to donate.
- Opportunity Bank of Montana has created the Denton Fire Relief Fund with an initial deposit of $2,500 and an additional $5,000 in matching donations to benefit victims and evacuees. Checks can be made payable to the Denton Fire Relief Fund and mailed to the bank at PO Box 1047, Denton, MT, or accepted at any Opportunity Bank branch statewide. Funds will be distributed through non-profit agencies directly to victims with immediate needs.
- The Montana Winter Fair website has information about monetary and other donations - click here for details.