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Wildfires

Falling Star Fire Determined Human Caused, No Structures Lost

Falling Star Fire
Tyrel Hamilton
/
Stillwater County Board of Commissioners
The Falling Star Fire outside Park City photographed on Aug. 2, 2020.

State and local firefighters determined the Falling Star Fire burning within a subdivision northwest of Laurel is human caused. No structures have been destroyed but some have damage.

The fire was first reported about 1 P.M., Sunday.

Evacuation orders have been lifted and will remain so unless the established fire line is threatened by high winds and spot fires. The fire is behind containment lines and crews worked overnight to improve those lines to protect threatened structures.

Thunderstorms and high winds are forecast for this evening.

“It is very dry out there. We’re asking people to be very careful driving in the tall weeds. This was a human caused fire so we're asking people to be very careful,” said Carol Arkell, Stillwater County Disaster Emergency Services (DES) coordinator.

The wind driven Falling Star Fire near Park City is threatening about 100 structures. No structures have been lost but some do have damage according to a post to the Stillwater County Disaster Emergency Services Facebook page.

GPS mapping of The Falling Star Fire shows it is burning 2,271 acres as of Aug. 3. 120 firefighters from local, state and federal agencies have been working the fire lines. Some of them could be released tonight or tomorrow.

Residents can expect to see flames and glow from fire but everything has containment lines around it. Officials ask non residents to avoid the areas of Benedict Road and Valley Creek Road.

Governor Steve Bullock announced Aug. 3 the state has received a Federal Management Assistance Grant from FEMA to assist with the costs of fighting the Falling Star Fire. The grant makes FEMA funding available to pay for 75 percent of the state’s firefighting costs.

A public meeting with Stillwater County’s fire chief scheduled for 3 P.M., on Aug. 3 was canceled.

Stillwater County entered into Stage 1 fire restrictions on July 30.

Two other fires in eastern Montana, the 650 acre Tripp Coulee Fire southwest of Jordan in Garfield County, and the 197 acre Dam Fire in Prairie County have been contained.