Neighbors help put out fires

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Ron Goldhirsch uses a water hoses to douse a small grass fire off Houston Drive in Whitefish on Thursday evening. (Libby Goldhirsch photo)

Crews with the Whitefish Fire Department were dispatched to two separate fires after a windstorm hit the area Thursday evening. Both fires were due to down power lines.

One of the fires on Houston Drive was quickly contained thanks to the fast action of several nearby neighbors.

Neighborhood resident Malinda Fleming Goldhirsch said the wind blew a branch down across two power lines, causing a big flash and sparks. Residents in the area jumped to action, using water hoses, fire extinguishers and hand equipment to rein in the fire before it threatened structures.

“The neighbors did a good job of containing that one,” said Whitefish Fire Chief Joe Page.

Meanwhile, a second fire was burning across the road at Nordic Loop.

“We had 10 pieces of equipment on two fires,” Page said, noting that Montana Department of Natural Resources also responded. “We got on them real quick.”

Both fires were less than 1/8 of an acre, Page said.

“We got very lucky,” he added.

Whitefish fire crews later responded to multiple downed trees across the city.

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