Reservation Goes Up in Smoke
Reservation goes up in smoke
One fire claims 10,000 acres
By Jerry W. Kram
It’s been a busy summer for Marle Baker.
As the Fire Management Officer for the Three Affiliated Tribes, Baker has spent most of his summers helping other communities battle wildfires from Alabama to California. In fact, just this year TAT Fire Management sent crews and trucks to Montana, South Dakota and Arizona back in June and July when the hills here were lush and green. Since then, he has had his hands full with more than 100 fires within the boundaries of the reservation.
“Things started popping here, so we’ve been staying home,” Baker said.
The Little Swallow Fire was just the largest of 135 fires on the reservation this year, claiming an estimated 10,000 acres. The full extent of that blaze hasn’t been measured yet, Baker said. At its peak, there were 86 firefighters battling the blaze along with assistance from Marathon Oil and North Star Construction who provided heavy equipment to cut firebreaks. Baker added that local residents also helped in the firefighting effort.