BELFRY, Mont. - A Belfry couple lost their home this week to the Robertson Draw Fire.
There were eight major structures and 13 secondary structures that were lost to the fire, according to the Custer Gallatin National Forest.
Earl and Lorna Shetler lived on Gold Creek Road in Belfry. On Tuesday, June 15, Earl was watering their deck to try to protect it from the fire.
"It still seemed to be a long ways away, with plenty of time," he said. "And, all of a sudden, there was fire up here by our water tank. It evidently jumped the canyon and came over here and started burning across over here. And, that's when they said, 'You have got to get out.' I was so focused on our house that we really didn't take too much with us. So, pretty much everything burned in the house."
Earl said the fire moved quickly.
"When it jumped and the wind came sweeping this way, it was way faster than we expected," he said. "There really wasn't that much time."
The Shetlers had lived in the home for a year.
For right now, Earl said friends have taken them in. As for the future, they are taking it day by day.
"Of course, I was praying. I believe there's a God who's in control, but I also trust Him that His ways aren't always our ways. I just was like, 'Lord, if possible, spare the house.' When I saw the propane tank explode down here and realized it was not happening, the Lord enabled me to say, 'The Lord has given. The Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.' And, um, it's hard, but at the same time, this is not my greatest treasure," Earl said.
If you want to help out, the couple has a GoFundMe account set up. You can find it by clicking here.
The Robertson Draw Fire has burned 24,273 acres and was 0% contained at the time of this article.