Through the Flames

Angel Williams, Photo Editor

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What does it take to protect our home? An interview with a Missoula Firefighter

With wildfires firefighters have to pay close attention to where they are walking. “With wildfires you have to, what we say, put your head on a swivel, you have to watch for snags” Tim Sayles, Lieutenant at Missoula Rural fire district, shares. “That’s what killed two of our firefighters this year.”

A snag is where a broken tree gets caught in another tree and cam fall at any moment and if you aren’t paying attention can fall on top of you. Which is why firefighters have to pay close attention to where they are walking.

When someone gets hurt, a structure firefighter fills in “If something happens to someone Im a structure firefighter,” Sayles shares “I do both Structure and Wildlife”

The fires have caused fire fighters to have longer shifts. “Very long days, my normal shift is 24 hours long, so for example I start at 7:00 am one morning and get off 7:00 am and get 48 hours off,” Sayles says and chuckles, “It’s like working for a day and then getting a weekend”

There is a summer job where you go in a plane and trace where lightning has stuck at. “My second job is I’m a flight observer,” Sayles shares. “ We go into a plane and go into where the lightening is positive, its a 3 hour flight.”


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Through the Flames