Darby ranch, Lolo family seeking help after fire destroys home, hay
(Missoula Current) Several Bitterroot Valley wildfires in recent days have claimed a number of structures and feed for livestock, and some are asking the public for help.
One family is seeking assistance after it lost their house and its contents, along with one of three cats, after the Mormon Creek fire swept through a residential area of Lolo on Sunday night.
Pushed by stiff winds, the fire burned roughly 20 acres and prompted brief evacuation orders from the Missoula County Sheriff's Department.
“They lost everything and had to watch as their house and everything they worked so hard for went up in flames,” wrote Angela Hadden, who is organization a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe.
“My son rushed home from work and was able grab 2 of his 3 cats before his home caught fire, unfortunately one of his kittys was scared and hid and he was forced out by the firemen. We are unsure if she survived and hoping she somehow escaped. I’m wanting to get the word out to the community in hopes she got out and is scared hiding somewhere. My kids lost all their belongings and are left with nothing."
Also over the weekend, a lightning strike hit the Double K Ranch in Darby, setting fire to its entire stock of hay. The fire ultimately torched 300 tons of feed the ranch had cut and bailed for the winter.
It will cost the ranch an estimated $50,000 to replace the loss, according to Dillon Kouf, who is organizing the fundraising effort on GoFundMe.
“We are reaching out to the community to help us replenish our hay supply for this year, rebuild our hay area and create a new structure that will prevent a future lightning strike from causing this to happen again,” said Kouf. “We appreciate any help we can get to rebuild and get ready for this coming winter.”