Snowplow driver discovers house fire

By EBS Staff

BIG SKY – At 3:26 a.m. on Feb. 3, the Big Sky Fire Department responded to a structure fire discovered by a passing snowplow operator on 21 Primrose Lane.

Jeremy Clack was driving near Buck’s T-4 when he smelled smoke and started looking for a fire, according to BSFD Chief William Farhat. Once Clack identified the single-story residence on fire, he called 911 and alerted the occupant.

“She was not aware it was going on until Jeremy pounded on the door and got her out,” Farhat said. “He really did a nice job helping out.”

Farhat said the occupant, who was uninjured, smelled smoke but wasn’t aware of the fire’s extent. She had smoke detectors, Farhat added, but the fire was located in the attic above the first-floor detectors, so they didn’t go off.

The fire started in the attic area of the house near the chimney, Farhat said, but could not confirm its cause. The house suffered significant damage.

“This is a good reminder that everyone should have their chimneys professionally cleaned and inspected [to ensure] there’s no damage or other issues,” he said.

About 20 firefighters from BSFD and the Yellowstone Club Fire Department responded with three fire engines and a water tender. The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the response.

Fees change for 2016 hunting licenses


HELENA – Montana’s 2016 hunting and fishing licenses went on sale Feb. 1, under a new fee structure passed by the state legislature. Licenses are now available at all Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks license outlets.

This year, as a prerequisite to buying any state hunting license, sportsmen must purchase a new “base hunting license.” It will cost $10 for residents and includes the hunting access enhancement fee that was a separate $2 charge last year. The base hunting license was created in lieu of adjusting license fees for individual species.

A season-long Montana resident fishing license will increase by $3 this year to $21. Fishing licenses will no longer be sold in combination with a conservation license – which is required for any hunting or fishing license purchase. The resident conservation license costs $8 for all ages.

Under the new structure, most licenses that were free or discounted in 2015 will be charged at half of the standard license cost. Previously, free licenses or a variety of discounted prices were offered to some youth, seniors and disabled sportsmen.

In 2016, only military recognition and block management cooperator combination licenses will remain free. FWP is reimbursed by the state general fund for military recognition licenses, and block management cooperators provide hunting opportunities for all sportsmen.

The new fee structure will also standardize the definition of youth as those between 12 and 17 years old. This language replaces a number of age categories.

The price of all other resident tags, licenses, drawing fees and permits will remain the same as in 2015.

Senator Tester visits Big Sky’s newest medical facility

By EBS Staff

BIG SKY – U.S. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana took time out of a busy schedule at the end of January to visit with community and hospital leaders at the recently opened Big Sky Medical Center.

Tester and his staff on Jan. 30 met with BSMC Board of Directors members Taylor Middleton and Loren Bough, along with hospital administrator Tracy Reamy, and toured the facility.

BSMC began accepting patients on Dec. 12, 2015, and as of Jan. 30 witnessed 390 emergency room visits, which would have been transported to healthcare facilities in Bozeman. The Big Sky facility also performed 43 MRIs over that time period.

“Big Sky is growing rapidly, and fortunately, folks saw to it to build a medical center that can meet the need of the community today and well into the future,” Tester said. “Smart planning like this is not only necessary to providing basic services, it’s critical to recruiting businesses and creating jobs in our state.”

Big Sky’s population grew by 89 percent between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.

Big Horn football players honored

By EBS Staff

The Lone Peak High School football team hosted its second playoff game in school history this fall, and rolled the Bridger Scouts, 82-32. While they fell 67-0 to the Savage Warriors in the second round, that didn’t stop the Big Horns from cleaning up state accolades that were announced in January.

Nine of the 15 Big Horn varsity letter winners were honored as Academic All-State, meaning they earned a 3.5 grade point average or better. Bridger Babcock and Eddie Starz were also named to the All-State team for their accomplishments on the field, and Chase Samuels won All-Conference accolades.

The nine Big Horn football players named Academic All-State for the 2015 season: Liam Germain, Devin Quinn, Evan Redmon, Chase Samuels, Holden Samuels, Eddie Starz, Bridger Babcock, and Zach Cone.