The power of prayer in Montana
2017 Alice Creek Wildfire
The fire footprint had grown to over 29,000 acres and was threatening to climb into an area that could let it run 40+ miles unchecked.  The fire was erratic and the potential outcome did not look very good. The winds kept shifting and the fires kept moving. We were very thankful to the fire fighters for their fire suppression efforts, but were unsure whether or not they had or could do anything that would ultimately protect the ranch. On one day we were facing the reality all our efforts might not stop this monster from running through our property.
A lightning strike sparked a small fire near our Montana ranch in July 2017. We watched for weeks as the fire remained around 40 acres with 26 personnel monitoring it. We wondered why the Forest Service did not just put the fire out. When the fire started growing, we became concerned we were in the middle of a forest service clean up area.
Other families who battled the over 1.2 million acres that burned in Montana this year suffered great losses. Many lost their homes, land, livestock, loved ones, personal belongings, and treasured Montana views. Please know you remain in our thoughts and prayers. We count ourselves fortunate to have been spared what might have been and fervently pray God will walk with you in what will be. We pray God blesses you, and keeps you, and makes His Face to shine upon you. Remember He is in control and He works everything, even the hard times, together for good. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. No matter what you are going through, God is still on His Throne. Rest in Him.  

Never underestimate the power of prayer.
The Nick and Donna Nickerson Family
Needless to say we have spent a great deal of time thanking the Lord for His goodness to us and reminding others to never underestimate the power of prayer. We are so very thankful for the rain, the snow, and for everyone who helped fight this fire and protect our home and property. Thank you to our special friends for providing a safe place for us to escape to in the midst of the fire. Thank you to our special neighbor for the extra fire hoses and nozzles. Thank you to those who supplied tools, equipment, buckets, trimmed trees, hauled brush, and secured buildings. Thank you to those who faithfully prayed. Thank you to those who slept in our driveway and helped keep watch. Thank you to our angels for being there and for all of your help. We pray God’s blessings on all of you for all you did. God chose to write a wonderful ending to this story for us and we thank Him for saving our home and keeping us and those who helped us safe. Only one corner of the property was touched and we know He brings beauty from ashes.
Twenty four hours later...God decided it was time to put the fire out...and He did. The rains came and the fires just went out. The rains could not have been more perfect. Slow, wet drizzling rains, the type that soak a forest even through the trees, flowed from Heaven and covered the fires. Then, the rains slowly turned to snow. Before it stopped, we had 6 - 8 inches of heavy, wet snow all over our property. It was amazing. It was beautiful. It was a miracle. It was also the most beautiful September snow we have, or maybe ever will, see. God is so good!
Our family worked 22 hour shifts. A minimum of 2 people were on active lookout at all times. We were very weary, but were encouraged when we heard the fire fighters were adding evening shifts and observed a noticeable increase in their fire suppression efforts. The fire camp grew. Helicopters and planes dropped water and retardant. Hot shots created firebreaks. Heavy equipment created dozer lines. Fire fighters monitored and fought the fires. All entities started working together to stop this fire from continuing its destructive path.
For eleven days we watched flames grow, burn, spread, run, almost die out ,and then come back to life. The fires from the Alice Creek Fire came in on three sides. Over and over it tried to cross the highway that runs in front of our ranch, but the fire suppression efforts were successful and it never made it across. Crossing the highway meant its circle around us would be complete. It also meant our friends' homes, ranches and land would most likely be lost as the defensibility of the terrain would make fire suppression efforts very difficult, if not impossible. We trimmed trees, cleared ground, extended our firebreaks, and prayed. We asked our friends and family to pray. We were well aware how quickly those angry flames could take away what was supposed to belong to us and what we have fought so hard to keep.
The Alice Creek Fire kept growing and making runs toward our property, some slow, some fast. The shifting winds, intense heat, dry conditions, unmanaged forest land, and fire directives to refrain from putting out the fire brought the imminent threat closer and closer to us. We prayed for our ranch, our neighbor’s ranches and God’s protection over everyone fighting the fires.
The ranch is our home and one of our favorite places on earth. Years of agricultural growth and development have rendered it a thriving organic farm and working ranch. We knew the view that made us fall in love with the ranch and all our efforts could be lost in a matter of hours or even minutes if this fire was not stopped. Even though we had proactively prepared the ranch to defend against any potential wildfires, we expanded our efforts outside our perimeter firebreaks when this fire threatened our borders. We worked. We prayed. We hoped. We waited.