Missoula City Fire crews responded on Wednesday to a fire reported at the Reserve Street homeless camp.

Captain Chad Kidd said when crews arrived they found the structure to be uninhabited.

“There didn’t appear to be anybody home, and it looked like the resident hadn’t been seen for eight to 10 days,” said Kidd. “It was a total burn down of his residential structure. We put a pump in the river and ran water up to extinguish it and did some minor overhaul on it.”

Kidd said there is a large encampment at the location.

“There are numerous structures down there that are substantial in size and there are many tents down there. There are structures constructed out of pallets, and probably literally tons of garbage down there and stuff strewn all over but nothing that the fire would have affected with the wet ground and the snow so there wasn’t much chance of the fire spreading.”

Kidd said access to the fire was extremely difficult.

“It was a challenge,” he said. “The first crew hiked in and did a good size-up on it and determined that there wasn’t a threat for the fire to spread. We used our fire department UTV to haul some hose and a pump down there, so with the use of that it really wasn’t too difficult, but as far as getting a conventional engine down there, it would have been impossible.”

Kidd said with the variety of structures in the camp that consisted of tents and makeshift structures made of pallets and tarps, safety measures similar to those who are camping would be recommended, that is to be careful keeping combustibles clear of flame.

Kidd said there were no injuries reported, and due to the nature of the structures there was no way to determine the value of any property loss.

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