Gallatin River Ranch Fire Department

The Gallatin River Ranch Fire Department provides fire, rescue and emergency medical services for the Gallatin River Ranch Rural Fire District located north of Manhattan, MT. The Fire District was established in December, 1999, by the Gallatin County Commission. The District covers about 9 square miles, 90 structures, and a full-time population of about 150. The GRR Fire Department was then organized under the supervision of an elected Board of Trustees. From 1999 to 2017 the department was run by a paid chief. The fire department changed to an all-volunteer model in May of 2017. The department is led by Chief Marlin Sprow and includes volunteer firefighters as well as reserve and auxiliary members and the Wildland Fire Preparation and Prevention Committee.


The new fire station, officially designated as Station 2, is now complete. The Grand Opening was a success on 10/15/23. All of the department’s firefighting apparatus and equipment are now housed in the building and the station is fully operational. It is located at 5770 Nixon Gulch Road and is within five road miles of all the dwellings on GRR.

We are continuing the fundraiser in order to prepay down the $300,000 mortgage that was necessary to complete the project. Please donate to the Fire Station Fundraiser if you have not already done so. Donations to the GRRRFD are tax-deductible under Section 170(c)(1) of the IRS code. Please send donations to: Gallatin River Ranch Rural Fire District, PO Box 109, Manhattan, MT 59741. All donations will be used to pay down the mortgage principal.


November 2023

Remember to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once a year unless you install longer-life batteries. That ensures they’ll be at their freshest during the winter season when most home carbon monoxide poisonings and a greater number of home fires occur. The key is to be consistent each year even if you pick a different date.

Every home should be equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Here’s a link to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) website for more information: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Safety-equipment/Smoke-alarms.

GRR Fire recommends 4- or 5-pound dry chemical ABC fire extinguishers on each floor of a home, especially the kitchen, garage, workshops and vehicles. Inspect your extinguishers yearly: confirm that the pressure gauge is in the “green” then check the age or date of last service. Fire extinguishers should be refilled and re-charged every 6 years. Use the following NFPA link for more information: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Safety-equipment/Fire-extinguishers.

Consider getting an inspection or cleaning of the flues of wood-fired stoves, heaters, and fireplaces. Flammable materials accumulate in flues that can lead to messy and potentially disastrous flue fires. The smaller flues of wood heaters or stoves should be cleaned yearly.


All GRR residents should register with the Gallatin County Emergency Management Community Notification System. This is the primary warning system Gallatin County uses to notify residents of emergencies, disasters, and evacuation orders. This can be found at: https://www.readygallatin.com/public-warning/community-notification-system/. This is the only system that provides immediate notification of pre-evacuation warnings and evacuation orders for properties in the GRR Fire District. With that in mind, please review the GRRRFD Evacuation plan in the GRRFD website: https://www.grrrfd.org/get-informed/


Two Trustee positions were subject to election on May 2, 2023. Two candidates submitted their applications for the positions by the deadline. Susan Piechowski and Wendy Ward will be elected by acclamation on May 2 pursuant to 12-1-502(5) of Montana Code Annotated.


The GRR Fire Department needs more firefighters, EMTs, and reserve members. Volunteer fire departments like ours are the backbone non-law enforcement rural emergency services. One of the best and most rewarding ways to serve your community is to volunteer to join the fire department. If you are interested, please email us at: [email protected]. For more information, look at the Get Involved section of this website.


The GRRRFD has added new firefighting water resources at Castle Rock Pond and Mossy Rock Pond.

The Castle Rock Pond project is finished.

A 6-inch pipe was trenched into the pond with a siphon at the end of underwater portion of the pipe. The pipe “daylights” with a “dry hydrant” in a location accessible to fire engines. This project significantly improves water availability on GRR. This adds to the Fire District’s effort to improve the quality and effectiveness of fire protection on GRR. At its fullest, this pond is estimated to contain 2.2-million gallons. At its emptiest, it is probably less than a million but at least 500,000 gallons. The access spur road to the dry hydrant has a Fire Lane, No Parking sign in place.

Another private pond on the southeast side of GRR has been made available by a generous property owner. If you have, or plan to construct a pond, consider allowing the fire department to access it for firefighting use in the event of a large fire. Contact Chief Sprow for details.

Mossy Rock Pond already has a 6-inch pipe that goes from the pond bottom to the pump house across the road from the pond. This well-fed artificial lined pond contains about 1.1-million gallons. The GRRFD has built a short spur road to the side of the pond to enable fire vehicles to draft water directly from the pond. This will more than double the rate we can pull water from the pond in the event of a fire.


Wildland fires are a year-round risk due to persistent drought and warming. They can occur any month when conditions are right.  It is not a question of if, but when the next wildland fire will affect the GRR Rural Fire District.

The GRR Fire Department recommends that all property owners carry an ABC fire extinguisher in each vehicle, including ATVs and UTVs, to use in event of a fire. Vehicles should not travel off-road and should not travel along roads where un-mowed grass is present in the road bed due to the risk of hot exhaust systems igniting dry grass.

GRR Rural Fire District residents should register for the Gallatin County Emergency Notification System at:  https://www.readygallatin.com/public-warning/community-notification-system/. Please explore the Get Informed Education section of this website to review the Evacuation Plan and other information about wildland fire preparation and mitigation. This is particularly important for new GRR Rural Fire District residents.

The Wildland Fire Preparation and Prevention Program was established by the GRRRFD Trustees. A volunteer Wildland Fire Preparedness Committee was formed to facilitate this program. The Committee organized and mailed packets of information to all current GRRHOA owners in April of 2021. Packets have been given to Luna Properties for inclusion in the Welcome Packet the GRR HOA sends to new owners. Information about fire resistant landscaping will be sent to GRRHOA members who apply for Architectural Review Committee building project approval as a reminder.

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