Montana firefighters are working under an extreme amount of stress as they try to extinguish all the surrounding wildfires in the state and some members of the community are making their jobs even more difficult. Missoula County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Brenda Bassett explains.

“There was an instance where a homeowner was yelling at firefighters and was just being a little bit of a problem,” said Bassett. “When you stop an entire crew from doing a job they need to do, they need about two days to get done what they need to get done, and when there are disruptions, it creates a lot of problems.”

According to Bassett, firefighters are also having a hard time when it comes to dealing with folks during an evacuation. She says someone could be arrested if they refuse to take children away from an area that has an evacuation order in place.

“When the officers go to the house they make sure there are no children in the house,” Bassett said. “If there is no children it is ultimately up to them, but we do it always under the umbrella of we may not be able to come back and help you. There was an instance up the mountain where people were coming down late and some of the firefighters had to pull off to the side of the road because they waited until the last minute to evacuate.”

Bassett wants to make it really clear that offensive or threatening language at firefighters is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

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