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Montana Wildfire Update For July 2, 2021

Updated 5:10 p.m.

Box Elder Fire

Thirty firefighters are working to protect some 21 structures threatened by the Box Elder Fire burning on private land roughly 20 miles northwest of Broadus in Powder River County. 

Mark Jacobsen with the Bureau of Land Management’s Miles City office reports grass, ponderosa pine and juniper are fueling the 1,700-acre fire. Jacobsen says fire crews have dropped retardant on the fire and built containment lines on parts of the fire, but did not know the size of the containment. The cause of the fire is unknown. 

Robertson Draw and Crooked Creek Fires

Containment lines are holding steady at 65% on the 30,000-acre Robertson Draw fire just south of Red Lodge in Carbon County.

Fire officials say they’re preparing for dry, hot weather over the holiday weekend. The National Weather Service forecasts temperatures in the 80s and 90s. 

According to an InciWeb Friday update, smoke may increase in the interior of the Robertson Draw Fire as hot spots flare up. Fire crews plan to monitor the northwest side of the fire.

Fire officials Friday removed the evacuation warning for both the Robertson Draw and the 4,000-acre Crooked Creek Fire burning east of Bridger in the Pryor Mountains. It continues at 72% containment.

Ranch Fire

Containment lines are complete around the Ranch Fire burning south of Miles City. Custer County Fire Warden Bud Peterson says the 2,100-acre fire is 100% contained as of 7 a.m. Friday.

The Northern Rockies Coordination Center estimates costs for fighting the Ranch Fire at $100,000.

The Miles City Dispatch Center identifies the Ranch Fire as one of four coal seam-caused wildfires currently burning in southeast Montana — two southwest of Colstrip and one north of Busby.

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