While fighting the rapidly emerging Deep Creek Canyon Fire near Townsend last Tuesday, a Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation helicopter carrying five people experienced a “hard landing” between Townsend and White Sulphur Springs and caught on fire.
All five passengers survived and were evacuated safely thanks to MFPE Member and Montana Highway Patrol trooper Amanda Villa who helped get the crew members to safety before the chopper erupted in flames.
Trooper Villa was in the area working on another matter when the helicopter crashed right in front of her, making her the first person on the scene of the accident.
Speaking to KULR8, Trooper Villa said “I’m just glad that me and the deputy were right there when it happened and able to get everybody out quickly. All things considered, it was a lot better than it could have been.”
Those aboard the helicopter were promptly sent for medical assessment in nearby Townsend and Helena and have since been medically cleared. They are now home safe with their families.
Thanks to the quick thinking and bravery of MFPE members like Amanda Villa for keeping our communities safe!