Montana Ski Resort Provides Safe Haven For Wildland Firefighters

Montana Ski Resort Provides Safe Haven For Wildland Firefighters


Montana Ski Resort Provides Safe Haven For Wildland Firefighters


Tip of the cap to Showdown Ski Area in Montana who is working to help the brave crews fighting wildfires in the area. KRTV reports as of Thursday morning, the Balsinger Fire is about 8,185 acres with no containment. The Ellis Fire is estimated at 1,277 acres, with 80% containment. The two wildfires are being co-managed as the Divide Complex Fire.

Showdown owner Katie Boedecker says the deck at the lodge had been filled on a daily basis with several hundred firefighters receiving daily briefings on the fires, and maps showing the latest updates on the fire are posted to the outside of the lodge. Management did not hesitate when the U.S. Forest Service contacted her to ask about using Showdown as a base camp. The lodge at Showdown been used as a caf providing 3 meals a day for up to 300 firefighters and to-go meals for crews on the run.

“Rocky Mountain Credit Union out of Helena brought over gobs of food for us. We’re providing the lodge and meals for firefighters specifically. we’re doing three meals a day and we’re up to about 300 firefighters now. It’s an impressive operation. Right now, we’re working with the Gold Team which is a Type 2 team out of Florida and the South. They’re just incredible.”- Katie Boedecker

Outside the lodge, firefighters sleep in tents around the ski area and have access to a large mobile sink trailer provided by Joe Johnson who takes the rig to natural disasters when requested by first responders (good on this dude).  Just want to say big thanks to all the firefighters out there putting their butts on the line to protect us and to those who support their efforts. Thanks!

Thank you to everyone who has reached out asking how you can help. We appreciate your patience as it’s taken us a bit of time to get this all organized while also keeping these hard-working firefighters well fed.
Our need for help is growing as the fire moves to a Type One incident and more people and resources are moving in to fight it.
Here are the ways you can help:
1. Work at Showdown
We’re very short-staffed up here and are looking for people who’d like to work full-time, part-time. If you’re interested in full or part-time employment please send an email to
2. Sign up for a paid volunteer shift
We have set up a link where you can sign up to work shifts as a paid volunteer. We have morning, mid-day, and evening shifts available–7 days a week. All shifts are 8 hours long and pay $100 per shift. We’re short-staffed and could use all the help we can get to make sure the firefighters are well cared for.
Please be mindful when you sign up for a shift that we don’t have anyone to cover for you and we’re depending on you to show up. To view available shifts and sign up, visit:
3. Donate individually wrapped snacks and drinks
If would like to donate food or drinks, we have a community donated snack/drink table set up in the lodge where the firefighters can grab extra snacks/drinks to put in their packs for the day. The firefighters have been loving this table! Food and drinks need to be individually wrapped and easy to grab. Please deliver food to Showdown.
Some examples of snacks/drinks they enjoy are Gatorade, Capri-Sun, fresh fruit, granola bars, chips, fruit snacks, trail mix, meat sticks, beef jerky, or whatever else you think they’d enjoy!
4. Come perform music during dinner🪕
Are you or someone you know a musician interested in donating your talents and time to entertain the firefighters while they eat dinner? Yay! Please email to find an evening that works
If you have any other ideas on nice things we could do for these brave men and women we would love to hear them.
Cheers to our beautiful community. Thank you all so much!


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