Missoula Rural Fire District sees surge in calls as population grows

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A firefighter with Missoula Rural Fire sprays water on a grass fire flaring up on the edge of Canyon River Golf Club in East Missoula in April. 

TOM BAUER, Missoulian Zoe Buchli

The Missoula Rural Fire District has seen a substantial surge in calls for service.

As of Sept. 4 last year, Missoula rural fire had received 1,896 calls. This year, 2,291 calls had been run by the same date, an increase of almost 20 percent, according to a news release.

The fire department attributes the uptick to an influx of people moving to the state, as well as more visitors passing through the Missoula area.

“As a result, MRFD’s firefighters have been working hard to keep up with the increased needs of the community,” the release said.

The department has been able to better service the surge in calls with the new staff positions they recently created as a result of the mill levy in 2019, Captain Eric Huleatt said.

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