Frenchtown Fire is a combination paid/volunteer department providing services to the communities of Missoula, Evaro, Frenchtown, Huson and Alberton in western Montana.
We have seven full-time staff, as well as ten apprentice firefighter/EMTs who live in the stations, work shifts, and respond to emergencies. Additionally, many dedicated, well trained community volunteers living throughout the district are on call to provide support whenever necessary.
The department maintains seven strategically located, well equipped stations, four of which are staffed with career and apprentice firefighters and three which are volunteer stations which provide both Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance services.
Emergency response services include, but are not limited to: structure fires, medical aid, motor vehicle accidents, rescues (water, rope, etc.) and hazardous materials releases. Frenchtown Fire is also active in wildland firefighting and suppression efforts in and out of the district, and is very involved in structure protection in the wildland-urban interface (WUI).
The Frenchtown Rural Fire District consists of 125 square miles across both Missoula and Mineral Counties. Approximately 12,000 residents live in the district, many in homes nestled in the mountains well off the beaten path and accessible only via narrow and/or steep unpaved roads.
Such closeness to wildlands significantly increases both the threat of fire and our citizens’ responsibility for prevention. Western Montana’s heavily forested landscape, combined with summertime high temperatures and low precipitation, make for extreme fire conditions.
Further, our area contains a large variety of critical infrastructure that makes for an “all risk” district. Some of the higher risk factors include:
• 32 miles of Interstate 90 (including four bridges)—a major thoroughfare across the northern US with heavy truck traffic and a high accident rate, especially in the winter months
• Two rail lines used to transport chemical and nuclear products, as well as a daily train that transports fuel to Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington State
• A major fuel storage facility and pipelines to the west coast
• Nearby Missoula International Airport with frequent arriving and departing flights over the district
• Critical telecommunication pathways (911, air traffic control, highway patrol, weather, television, radio)