How Fires Get Named...

T-Shirts available for the Skunk Woman Fire and Comples. Details below.

September 7, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana

Once upon a time there was this little old lady who lived in a house with a lot of skunks under it, around it and even in the garage too, not in a shoe.

She would hear the skunks having what sounded like a very violent relationship under her house and it would be followed by a horrid smell. The kind of smell that makes one very sick if one continues to breathe.

She felt it necessary to continue to breathe so she looked skunks up on the Internet and the article said that one could trap these varmints and put them to sleep in a very painless way by using the exhaust of ones vehicle. So she got a dryer vent and did just that. She caught several skunks her first year. She did some work on the house to keep them out from under it and the next year there were more skunks so she caught them too.

One day she was in a store and she saw a skunk hat. The cost was $125. She was not the type of woman who had $125 to spend on a hat, but she wanted this hat a lot because she had had experiences with skunks and it was a very beautiful hat. Then a bright light came on and she said to herself, "Self, you could just skin out the next skunk that you catch and make a hat." And that she did. In fact she skinned out two of them and had them tanned. They are very soft and she loves them a lot.

Then it was known throughout the land that she was catching skunks and many people began to call her "Skunk Woman". Then there was this older couple who was having trouble with skunks and their house smelled sooooo bad that they were going to have to quit breathing or find someone to get rid of the skunk. So they began to inquire with some locals. They contacted the Fish & Game guy, Woody, and our local lumber man, Bud. They both knew of the Skunk Woman so the Fish & Game guy called the old woman and told her a sad story and asked if just this once she would consider taking care of this skunk for this dear, dear couple. The lumber guy also told them of the Skunk Woman. So with this much pressure on her, she agreed to take care of the problem. And a problem indeed! When she was taking care of the skunk for the dear, dear couple, she forgot to turn her heater off in her pickup and the circulation of the hot air and the skunk created a bad smell in her pickup that lasted over a month. It was a sad day for that pickup!

Anyway the dear, dear couple lived happily ever after in their little home and sent the "Skunk Woman" a bouquet of flowers that indeed did smell better than the skunk had smelled! That was nice. But the whole thing just reinforced the name she had been given. So she accepted that she would be called that and she asked the guys who fight fire at Clearwater DNRC to name a fire after her. They felt sorry for her and did just that.

After that fire started and was named, two other fires broke out in that area and they had to make a "Complex" to run the fires out of and they also name complexes so they named the complex "Skunk Woman Complex". Well Skunk Woman was so proud. Then she said to the firefighter named Gerald, "Hey you guys make a T-shirt for all of your fire complexes, how's about a 'Skunk Woman' T-shirt?" And firefighter Gerald said well I'll think about it, what would you like on it." She told him what it should look like and by golly he said okay.

The newspaper guy, Gary, saw the T-shirt design and said he would like to run it in his newspaper and wanted to have something written about how it all came about, thus this story. The T-shirts will be ordered this week and you can even buy one of them. They even come in sweatshirts.

By now you are probably wondering "What kind of wacko would kill skunks and then skin them out and then tell somebody about it and then ask to have something named after her." Well she's kind of shy and so she wishes to remain anonymous. So if you want one of these T-shirts you can stop by and talk to Pat at the Fire Hall. She probably knows her. Pat's been around these parts for quite some time.

The End

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