How It All Started: About Obadiah’s
by Woody Chain

Obadiah's Wildland Firefighters, 2008.

Obadiah’s Wildland Firefighters, 2008.

After spending over twenty years in the construction business, my family and I moved to Montana in pursuit of a better lifestyle. We settled in the infamous Yaak Valley of northwest Montana, just west of Glacier National Park.

In July of 2000, 118 fires were initiated by lightning strikes in the mountains surrounding our home. The Bitterroot Mountains in Southwestern Montana were already burning, and most of our area’s local firefighters and equipment had been dispatched to help fight those fires, leaving few resources for us. In an effort to protect our home, we purchased a type-6 engine in Idaho, got it fire certified, went through fire training, and eventually were able to help fight the fires threatening us and other residents of Yaak, Montana during the summer of 2000.

Woody and Kevin with the Jeep.

Woody and Kevin with the Jeep.

Obadiah's 1995 Dodge 1 Ton.

Obadiah’s 1995 Dodge 1 Ton.

That first engine was a 1967 Jeep 1¼ 4×4 pickup that had been converted by the Civil Defense to fight wildfire, but the following year we upgraded to a 1995 Dodge 1 ton with a slip in tank that was much more user-friendly. The design is simple, yet effective, and that engine was eventually used on the Moose Fire in Columbia Falls, Montana.

Since then we have expanded our resources greatly, and our fleet now includes two skidgens, a type-3 engine, a water tender, and a fully-functional mobile command center. We’re proud of what we do, and will go wherever firefighters are needed.

Woody with a drip torch during a backburn.

Why the name “Obadiah’s”?

Obadiah’s is a Biblical name meaning “servant of God.” We started Obadiah’s, both the alternative energy and firefighting companies, out of dedication to the Glory of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. All this equipment was inspired by God, He gave us the ability and the means to build it.

If you look carefully at the “O” in our name Obadiah’s, it appears to rise out of the flames. This company rose from the flames that surrounded our home in Yaak, Montana during the summer of 2000. We were surrounded by wildfires, and as a result, have a deep understanding of what it feels like to have your home and livelihood threatened. The purple flames are a reference to the purple robe Christ was given before He was crucified on the cross for our sins. From all of us here at Obadiah’s, be blessed in Jesus’ Name, the Name above all Names!

COMPANY NAME Obadiah’s Wildfire Fighters
ADDRESS 1660 Whalebone Dr.
Kalispell, MT 59901
PHONE (800) 968-8604
FAX (406) 295-9490
OPERATOR(S) Lawrence “Woody” Chain
– Volunteer Fire Fighter (Yaak, MT)
– Fighting wildfires since 2000.
Certifications S-130/190, I-200, S-290, S-234, S-131, S230/231, FF1 & FF2 Eng Boss Trainee.
– Designer/builder/operator of all equipment.
– 10+ years experience.
BUSINESS DETAILS Under Best Value Agreement # AG-0343-C-07-3133
Dispatched from Lolo Nat Forrest, Region One, Missoula MT.
– Ph: 406-329-3333
– Fax: 406-329-3682 (Contracting officer: Deborah Wesselius).
FIRES Moose Fire
Missionary Ridge Fire
Florence/Biscuit Complex
Hinman Fire
Black Mt.Complex
Blackfoot Lake Fire
Crazy Horse Fire
Cedar/Old Fires
Hurricane Katrina & Rita
Sawmill Complex
Jocko Lakes Fires