News & Features

Arson Investigation Continues as Arena Postpones Second Event

Sheriff Chuck Curry says authorities are talking to several “people of interest”

The Majestic Valley Arena has postponed this weekend’s Cinch Winter Rodeo Series while law enforcement search for the suspected arsonist or arsonists who set the lobby and office on fire Jan. 3.

On Thursday, Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry said authorities were talking to several “people of interest” but had not identified any suspects.

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. Curry also said there was extensive water and smoke damage in other parts of the facility.

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 the following day. Although arena officials had hoped to hold the Cinch Winter Rodeo Series this coming weekend, on Thursday they announced on Facebook that it would be postponed until Jan. 23 and 24. Officials said although the fire did not impact the main arena and stall barn, they were not able to reset the fire sprinkler system this week because of the massive winter storm.