Montana National Guard Soldiers Return Home after supporting WA - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Montana National Guard Soldiers Return Home after supporting WA wildfire efforts

Posted: Updated:
HELENA - The well known American song, "This land is you land, this land is my land" reigned true this past week when the Montana National Guard Bravo company the first of the 189th GSAB came to help Washington State fight those wildfires. And today, they come home.

"I guarantee that if Montana needs us to come back some time and help you guys, we're going to be there for you--and that's what's it's all about being a guardsmen," WA National Guard Major General Brett Daughtery.

Montana soldiers dropped more than 520,000 gallons of water during their 12 days working out of the base near Leavenworth. That's over 260 buckets of water used to try and tame the unforgiving fires.

"We've seen everything from just small poofs of smoke, where they were doing back burns on the ground to--we call them torches-- they'll be clusters of trees that will be in flames, and you can have flames that are reaching probably heights of 30 feet above the tree tops," Flight engineer SGT. Brad Fredrickson said.

To some, helping a neighboring state was a no brainer.

"It's really nice to be able to help out," Instructor pilot Jake Wiegand said. "If you're at home you'd be helping out your buddies. So, you might as well help out the Washington state guys right next door to us."

But for Fredrickson, fighting the wildfires meant supporting his home state.

"It's an honor really" Fredrickson said. "I was born in Spokane, so being from here is something nice to be able to do--knowing that we can actually help out not just our state but other states."

The Washington National Guard expressed their gratitude by awarding all 17 Montana soldiers with certificates of appreciation.

"It's nice to know that someone appreciates what you're doing here" Wiegand said. "It's been a humbling experience, and its been really good."

Crews operating out of the From Field Hella base have been able to tackle three different complex fires, but they say that the job isn't quite done yet.


  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • "Wings of Blue" parachute team prepares for Military Open House

    "Wings of Blue" parachute team prepares for Military Open House

    Friday, July 21 2017 7:55 PM EDT2017-07-21 23:55:48 GMT

    It’s one thing to watch people jump out of a plane; it’s another thing to watch the Wings of Blue parachute team jump out of a plane. And that’s exactly what folks can experience this weekend during the Montana Military Open House. The event will take place Saturday and Sunday, July 22nd and 23rd. Gates open at 9:30 A.M., shows kick off around 11:00 A.M., and things will wrap up by 6:00 P.M. The weekend is totally free and open to the public; security checks will b...

    It’s one thing to watch people jump out of a plane; it’s another thing to watch the Wings of Blue parachute team jump out of a plane. And that’s exactly what folks can experience this weekend during the Montana Military Open House. The event will take place Saturday and Sunday, July 22nd and 23rd. Gates open at 9:30 A.M., shows kick off around 11:00 A.M., and things will wrap up by 6:00 P.M. The weekend is totally free and open to the public; security checks will b...

  • Man survives rollover crash, then killed by oncoming vehicle

    Man survives rollover crash, then killed by oncoming vehicle

    Friday, July 21 2017 9:00 PM EDT2017-07-22 01:00:52 GMT
    A man who survived a rollover crash was killed soon after when he was hit by another passing vehicle Thursday night. The Lewis and Clark County Coroner has identified the man as Adam David Zeelee of Helena. According to the Montana Highway Patrol, the crash happened around 10:30 Thursday Night, just north of Helena. The man was able to get out of his rolled car, stand up and talk to another driver. He was then hit by another car and died from multiple injuries. The driver of th...
    A man who survived a rollover crash was killed soon after when he was hit by another passing vehicle Thursday night. The Lewis and Clark County Coroner has identified the man as Adam David Zeelee of Helena. According to the Montana Highway Patrol, the crash happened around 10:30 Thursday Night, just north of Helena. The man was able to get out of his rolled car, stand up and talk to another driver. He was then hit by another car and died from multiple injuries. The driver of th...
  • A Great Falls Man Charged With Intimidation

    A Great Falls Man Charged With Intimidation

    Tuesday, July 18 2017 7:29 PM EDT2017-07-18 23:29:05 GMT
    A Great Falls man is charged with intimidation after he sent threatening messages to his former employer and disabled employee Kyle Rodriguez, sent homicidal messages via Facebook messenger to his former employer and a former coworker. One of the messages read “I wanted to kill them all in the most brutal way I could think but I walked away.” Other messages were far more brutal and descriptive in Rodriguez’s intent. Rodriguez’s former employer says he was...
    A Great Falls man is charged with intimidation after he sent threatening messages to his former employer and disabled employee Kyle Rodriguez, sent homicidal messages via Facebook messenger to his former employer and a former coworker. One of the messages read “I wanted to kill them all in the most brutal way I could think but I walked away.” Other messages were far more brutal and descriptive in Rodriguez’s intent. Rodriguez’s former employer says he was...
  • Man allegedly solicited sex from cop undercover posing as teen boy

    Man allegedly solicited sex from cop undercover posing as teen boy

    Thursday, July 20 2017 3:38 PM EDT2017-07-20 19:38:54 GMT

    A Great Falls man is charged with sexual abuse of a child after allegedly soliciting sex from police posing as a teenager online. According to court documents, Alex Hamilton is charged with two counts of sexual abuse of children.

    A Great Falls man is charged with sexual abuse of a child after allegedly soliciting sex from police posing as a teenager online. According to court documents, Alex Hamilton is charged with two counts of sexual abuse of children.

  • Bullock For President? Governor Creates Federal PAC

    Bullock For President? Governor Creates Federal PAC

    Wednesday, July 19 2017 7:44 PM EDT2017-07-19 23:44:55 GMT
    Governor Steve Bullock has been tabbed as the top Democratic governor to potentially run against President Trump in 2020 by The New York Times. During a meeting with reporters, Bullock said he's seeking to add his voice to the national conversation on many issues, but it was premature to start talking about a presidential race. Wednesday, Bullock told KFBB he is still focused on his job leading Montana, but says the country can learn a lot from the way things are done in the Treasur...
    Governor Steve Bullock has been tabbed as the top Democratic governor to potentially run against President Trump in 2020 by The New York Times. During a meeting with reporters, Bullock said he's seeking to add his voice to the national conversation on many issues, but it was premature to start talking about a presidential race. Wednesday, Bullock told KFBB he is still focused on his job leading Montana, but says the country can learn a lot from the way things are done in the Treasur...
  • White House: Budget deficit to spike to $702B

    White House: Budget deficit to spike to $702B

    Friday, July 14 2017 5:34 PM EDT2017-07-14 21:34:06 GMT

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says worsening tax revenues will cause the budget deficit to jump to $702 billion this year. That's a $99 billion spike from what was predicted less than two months ago.

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says worsening tax revenues will cause the budget deficit to jump to $702 billion this year. That's a $99 billion spike from what was predicted less than two months ago.

  • Industrial hemp new star crop in Montana agriculture

    Industrial hemp new star crop in Montana agriculture

    Thursday, July 13 2017 9:33 PM EDT2017-07-14 01:33:26 GMT
    "It has taken 17 years to finally get our first crop in the ground." In 2001, industrial hemp became legal to grow in Montana. And considering it's one of the fastest growing crops around, it's amazing how long it took to actually be planted in Montana soil. "We have about six hundred miles that we share with our Canadian neighbors, and they're making good money on industrial hemp, whereas Montana's making not one penny," says Chris Christiaens, lobbyist for Mont...
    "It has taken 17 years to finally get our first crop in the ground." In 2001, industrial hemp became legal to grow in Montana. And considering it's one of the fastest growing crops around, it's amazing how long it took to actually be planted in Montana soil. "We have about six hundred miles that we share with our Canadian neighbors, and they're making good money on industrial hemp, whereas Montana's making not one penny," says Chris Christiaens, lobbyist for Mont...