An early morning fire at the Majestic Valley Arena north of Kalispell was set intentionally, according to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office.
The West Valley Fire Department responded to a fire at the arena along U.S. Highway 93 shortly after 5:30 a.m. on Jan. 3. According to officials, the fire started inside the office and lobby area and although firefighters were able to quickly knock the blaze down, it caused significant damage. Sheriff Chuck Curry also said there was extensive water and smoke damage in other parts of the facility.
Curry said evidence suggests an arsonist set it on purpose and the sheriff’s office already has a few leads.
“We’re working on this investigation as we speak,” Curry said Monday morning.
Firefighters from West Valley, Smith Valley, Kalispell, South Kalispell and Evergreen all responded to the blaze.
The fire and the investigation forced Majestic Valley to cancel the Wrangler Team Roping Championships event that began Jan. 2 and was scheduled to continue through Saturday. However, arena officials said plans were moving forward to hold the Cinch Winter Rodeo Series this coming weekend.
Anyone with information regarding the fire should call the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office crime stoppers line at (406) 257-8477.