Dousing California Stereotypes and Fires

On behalf of our task force of Montana firefighters, I would like to express my gratitude to all of the residents of Southern California for their outstanding appreciation, friendliness and hospitality. Having fought fires in 12 Western states but never California, our trip down was fraught with apprehension and visions of the stereotypical crime and gridlock we "out-of-staters" so often cultivate. Watching your communities work together during this crisis was eye-opening, as was the reception we received from residents who, despite their devastating losses, put their needs aside in favor of those of their neighbors and public safety crews. Thank you, and we hope to see you again, albeit under better circumstances.

Marschal G. Rothe

Engine Captain, Bridger Fire

No. 655, Bozeman, Mo.

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