Firefighters drop pucks, raise money at Fire on Ice

The annual hockey showdown between Missoula city firefighters and wildland firefighters from around Montana returns for an 11th edition early next month.

The faceoff, dubbed “Fire on Ice,” is free to attend and serves as a fundraiser for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation and Missoula Firefighters Local 271 Benevolent Association. The event is held at Glacier Ice Rink at the Missoula County Fairgrounds. “Fire on Ice” is an evening double-header with games at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4.

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With admission completely free, firefighters raise money through a silent auction, “chuck-a-puck” contest, apparel and sticker sales, and $12 bottomless beer mugs of brew donated by Big Sky Brewing. The event raised just shy of $13,000 last year, according to Missoula firefighter and paramedic Chris Kovatch. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation supports injured wildland firefighters and the families of firefighters who die on the job. The local union’s benevolent association “supports a slew of different things,” Kovatch said, including scholarships and veterans’ retreats.

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Kovatch, who has been with the Missoula Fire Department for 16

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