Finley Point Yellow Bay Fire Department
COMMUNITY FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN KICK OFF FOR FINLEY POINT YELLOW BAY FIRE DEPARTMENT
Contact Jacqueline McLean-Jones – Campaign Organizer
Polson MT – (August 24, 2021) On the evening of July 31, during record heat, a small fire many thought was under control suddenly exploded into a wind-driven inferno. A group of highly-trained firefighters fought for over 72 hours to hold the line in a furious effort to save the surrounding homes.
This group of volunteers, women and men from the Finley Point Yellow Bay Fire Department (FPYBFD), aged 22 to 60, along with other local fire departments, have been credited with saving many homes in the area. Today we are kicking off a fundraising campaign to purchase new and more modern equipment so they are better equipped for future fire fights.
“My home is located on highway 35 just before Mile Marker 9 and the Boulder 2700 fire came within ¼ mile from burning my home,” said Flathead Lake resident Jerry Campbell. “I am forever thankful for the efforts made by these incredibly committed and brave local volunteers.”
Firefighter Lt. Bryce Muench, a training officer with the FPYBFD who was on the line for 48 hours without a break, provided these insights. “Unfortunately we weren’t able to save all properties. But I can tell you the crew gave everything they had to successfully hold the line. We couldn’t have done this without the leadership of fire chief elect John McCullough who, at one point, along with a small crew, risked their lives in the barrel of the fire,” said Muench.
“During the early morning hours on July 31, FPYBFD requested assistance from any and all available fire assets in the area as the Boulder 2700 fire swept down the mountain making a run toward the lake side residents,” said chief elect John McCullough. “For the first time since its inception, dispatch toned out the all-page button that was put in place for emergencies necessitating mass mutual aid. This call for support in defense of the community residents on the East shore of Flathead Lake was answered immediately as every available man and woman from all of our neighboring fire departments answered the call, some traveling more than an hour to join this battle with this fire storm,” he explained.
“The reality is we are first to respond to any fires in our district, and we rely primarily on donations from our area residents and businesses. Our annual budget sustains us, but without your donations, we are unable to purchase the latest safety equipment and technology needed to help maximize our effectiveness within our district. Funds received from this campaign will allow us to acquire much-needed equipment to protect our residents and homes and our little piece of paradise along Flathead Lake,” added Muench.
Campaign organizers are challenging local businesses and residents to dig deep to support their local fire department. Donations can be made via Venmo on the FPYBFD website or on Facebook.
Donors can also mail in their donations to 35408 MT HWY 35 Polson MT 59860, checks payable to Finley Point Yellow Bay Fire Department.
“The department would also like to thank local agencies and residents for their cooperation. Without this assistance the outcome of the Boulder 2700 fire may have been tragic,” Muench concluded.
Multiple homes were burned in the first hours of the blaze and the fire is still burning at higher elevations.