News & Features

Montana to Lower Flags to Mark Mann Gulch Fire Anniversary

The Aug. 5, 1949, blaze north of Helena near the Missouri River killed 13 firefighters

HELENA — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has ordered flags lowered across the state Monday to mark the 70th anniversary of the deadly Mann Gulch fire.

The Aug. 5, 1949, blaze north of Helena near the Missouri River killed 13 firefighters and was the subject of the Norman Maclean book “Young Men and Fire.”

Bullock says in his proclamation that flags will fly at half-staff in memory of all wildland firefighters who have given their lives in the line of duty.

The U.S. Forest Service is planning a ceremony at the Meriwether Picnic area near Mann Gulch on Monday. It includes plans for a flyover by the plane that transported 15 Missoula-based smokejumpers to the fire in 1949.

The plane, now known as Miss Montana, also participated in the 75th anniversary of D-Day.