Veteran-Led Volunteer Group Team Rubicon Works to Prevent Wildfires in the Missoula Area

MISSOULA, Mont. (May 1, 2018) – Team Rubicon, a veteran-led global disaster response organization, worked in collaboration with the Five Valleys Land Trust (FVLT) of Missoula to conduct wild land fire mitigation operations from Thursday, April 26 through Monday, April 30. Team Rubicon deployed 16 volunteer members to support the operation, which took place at the intersection of Rock Creek and the Clark Fork, east of Missoula. This property, owned by the FVLT, is open to the public and is
adjacent to other landowners, including some with historic structures and small businesses who depend on the FVLT to access Rock Creek.

During the operation, Team Rubicon volunteer members used chainsaws and other tools to minimize the risk of costly wildfires and to help thin several acres in the heavily wooded areas, as prescribed by the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). In all, Team Rubicon bucked and limbed 1,200 linear feet of trees and removed 1,000 cubic yards of debris that could potentially fuel a wildfire.

“Team Rubicon is really pleased to continue to work with Five Valley’s Land Trust to reduce the fire hazard to a wonderful recreation area, as well as to the neighboring community,” said Team Rubicon Incident Commander, Bruce Verde.

By felling dangerous trees and removing downed trees and debris in this area, Team Rubicon not only helps reduce the wildfire hazards but also helps enhance safety for the general public that uses this property. These efforts increase the resiliency of the local community. Additionally, all the felled trees were chopped up and placed in accessible piles to provide firewood for locals, some with physical disabilities.

“Not only are our teams ready to respond to a natural disaster at the drop of a dime,” said William Porter, Manager, National Planning at Team Rubicon. “But, we’re also out there helping communities increase their resiliency and prepare for disasters before they happen.”

In addition to the wild land fire mitigation portion of the operation, Team Rubicon’s training department hosted a Sawyer 1 course to prepare volunteer members to conduct safe chainsaw operations and tree-felling procedures.

Team Rubicon boasts an 80,000-strong, highly skilled volunteer force that helps communities stabilize and recover after a devastating natural disaster. Since its inception following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Team Rubicon has responded to over 250 disasters, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Through a strong communications infrastructure supported by our cutting-edge technological solutions, Team Rubicon volunteers efficiently and effectively respond to natural disasters and help families return to their homes as soon as possible. By giving military veteran volunteers the opportunity to continue their service through disaster
response, Team Rubicon helps give them a renewed sense of purpose, community, and identity.