by Jim Bainbridge | Jan 06, 2015
An early morning fire Jan. 3 at the Majestic Valley Arena north of Kalispell, Mont., was set intentionally, according to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, severely damaging the site of the PRCA-sanctioned Rocky Mountain Classic Rodeo.
The West Valley Fire Department responded to a fire at the arena along U.S. Highway 93 shortly after 5:30 a.m. According to officials, the fire started inside the office and lobby area and although firefighters were quickly able to get the blaze under control, it caused significant damage. Sheriff Chuck Curry also said there was extensive water and smoke damage in other parts of the facility.
Curry said evidence suggests an arsonist set it on purpose and the sheriff’s office already has a few leads.
“We’re working on this investigation as we speak,” Curry told the Flathead Beacon.
Firefighters from West Valley, Smith Valley, Kalispell, South Kalispell and Evergreen all responded to the blaze.
The fire and the investigation forced Majestic Valley to cancel the Wrangler Team Roping Championships event that began Jan. 2 and was scheduled to continue through Saturday. It will be back in operation shortly and poses no threat to the PRCA rodeo scheduled for the third week in March.
Authorities are asking for anyone who might have information regarding the fire should call the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office crime stoppers line at 406.257.8477.
Courtesy of PRCA