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Support for fallen firefighter

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Mixed emotions tonight locally following the announcement of the identity of the firefighter who died.

For some, relief that it wasn't someone they knew, and of course for everyone, sadness that anyone died trying to fight this fire.

"I drew a person," says Fin Jensen from Florence.

Fifth grader Fin Jensen came to incident command with his mother bearing gifts for the firefighters.

“Does it make you happy to give them cookies and that beautiful picture?" asks David Winter.

"Yeah," says Fin.

“Why's that?"

“Because a firefighter died and it was very sad," says Fin.

And more support this evening for the firefighters. This informational meeting was standing room only. locals interested in learning more about the fire and to show support for the fallen firefighter.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the loved ones,” says Greg Roncin, incident commander for the Lolo Peak Fire. “And I want to thank you for your continued support for them and for the firefighters that continue to engage the fire."

And still more support for firefighters at the Hayloft Saloon in Lolo. Bridget Bowers, a bartender there, has friends and family who are wildland firefighters.

"It’s pretty scary,” says Bridget. “You just keep your fingers crossed that everyone's safe."

Inside incident command more displays of community support.  Many people have stopped by to bring flowers.  An entire box of cookies was brought in for the firefighters.  And then a poster.  It actually has a poem on it with a poignant ending.  It says, thank you for saving our homes, business, livestock, pets, churches and our community.

"I know it’s important to the firefighters to see that,” says Leigh Golden, a spokesperson for the Lolo Peak fire.  “Their days are long and tough.  So to see that they have the support of the community is important to them."

Leigh says random act of kindness can make a huge difference to those who are on the fire lines.

Fire officials say the best thing you can do to show your appreciation for the firefighters is to drop-off stamped postcards that they can send their families, and post signs and social media showing your support.

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