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Photo provided by Sally Wanner Firefighter Mark Wanner fells a ponderosa pine to create a fire break in Rosebud County, Montana, this summer.

Willmar Notebook: Fire on the range


Mark Wanner (WHS '78) lives in cowboy country but he has been on a horse only once (in a parade) since settling in Montana 30 years ago.

But he does ride the range. He drives a specially outfitted fire truck to raging summer fires in the grasslands and foothills around Forsyth, where he teaches school the other nine months of the year. He's also coached several sports and is a former dean of students.

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334