By Sarah Pridgeon
Crook and Weston County Volunteer Firefighters each received a check for $10,000 this week from the owner of a ranch near Oil Creek, in thanks for their work battling the Oil Creek Fire that consumed over 62,000 acres near Newcastle. A generous act of itself, Mark Pieloch’s actions are cast in an even more selfless light when one considers that, during the fire, he lost a large portion of his land.
“We saved his ranch during the Skull Creek Fire, but we lost it at Oil Creek,” explains Gari Gill, Fire Warden. “We managed to keep all of his outbuildings and house safe; however, he did lose over 100 head of cattle, and of course tons of acres burned. Yet he still gave us $10,000 and Weston County $10,000.”
Peiloch’s donation was given, he said, to show his appreciation of the efforts that firefighters made to save precious natural resources and wildlife during the fire. He also thanked everyone involved for the work they did to fight all the recent forest fires.
“I hope that these funds will be useful to continue your forest fighting activities,” said Peiloch to the fire departments. “May God be with you in all of your firefighting.”