Most of Ravalli County is forest land. The US Forest Service provides fire protection for over half the county, and there are about 12 fire stations protecting the remaining parts of the county.
Single engine air tankers (SEAT planes) are the quickest and best means of attacking small fires in inaccessible forest terrain before they become big fires. However, it is a fact that SEAT planes need a 1000-foot longer runway to be able to operate safely during times of hot weather carrying more fire retardants.
If we want better fire protection and less smoke, a longer runway at the Ravalli County Airport is essential. So tell our County Commissioners to “get ‘er done.” Smoke is unhealthy, so let’s not jeopardize safety and fire protection any longer.