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Flathead Firefighters Respond To Ronan Tire Fire

Rear veiw of a fire engine.
Fire engine file photo.

Friday, fire departments around the Flathead Valley rallied to combat a fire burning near Ronan. Polson Fire Chief Paul Laisy says black smoke from the fire could be seen for miles today, and at times flames jumped 100 feet in the air.

Around 50 people helped put the fire in check at Tire Depot, a tire recycling plant.

Laisy says the fire started early this morning.

"Of course it was pretty furious when we first got there, but it has calmed down a lot and they’ve got a lot of it buried."

The cause of the fire is unknown. Laisy says the pit of tires that caught on fire is about an acre wide and about 40 feet deep. He says crews still have some work to do before the fire is completely out.

"They may be working on it through the night at least."

A similar fire at the Tire Depot burned in 2001. Laisy says that fire was much worse, but that experience helped firefighters understand how to get today’s fire under control quickly.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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