Montana Wildfire Update For July 21, 2021
The National Interagency Fire Center reports there are 17 fires burning in the state as of Wednesday afternoon, totaling around 100,000 acres.
The Alder Creek Fire burning 8 miles west of Wise River experienced minimal growth yesterday, slowly moving towards the Hwy 43 and Pioneer Scenic Byway corridors, according to an Inciweb update Wednesday morning. Crews focused on stopping the main fire by using tactical fire to remove burnable fuels, but rain has slowed firing operations. Fire engines and hand crews continue to hold and improve containment lines and protect structures today. The fire has burned nearly 5,700 acres.
The 23,000-acre Trail Creek Fire burning 20 miles west of Wisdom grew minimally Tuesday, according to a morning update posted on Inciweb. The fire is continuing to push slowly east along the Hwy 43 corridor.
Strategic firing at the Big Hole National Battlefield protected adjacent private structures and the Visitor Center.
Firefighters will continue holding lines and working hotspots. South of Hwy 43, the plan is to hold the fire on Butler Creek where it intersects with Foothills Rd. Firefighters are working to stop the fire from spreading to the Continental Divide.
All BLM-managed lands south of Highway 43 along the Big Hole River from Harriet Lou Creek west toward Wisdom have been closed as of Wednesday afternoon. The Big Hole National Battlefield remains closed due to fire activity, along with trails and campgrounds in the area. Find closure details here. Structures in the area are threatened. The fire previously forced the closure of Highway 43. Find the latest highway closure info from the Montana DOT.
Due to increased fire activity near the Big Hole River, the BLM expanded its area closure Tuesday. The new closure order takes effect immediately for all BLM-managed lands south of MT Hwy 43 along the Big Hole River from Harriet Lou Creek west toward Wisdom.#mtfire #wildfire pic.twitter.com/xRwis1gaMf— BLM Montana/Dakotas (@BLM_MTDKs) July 21, 2021
The evacuation warning issued Tuesday due to the Robertson Draw Fire has been lifted. Residents should continue to stay updated and aware of the fire situation. The Carbon County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation warning Tuesday for the Rock Creek Drainage area from Point of Rocks just south of Red Lodge, following south on both the east and west sides of Highway 212.
The fire has grown to nearly 30,000 acres and is 85 percent contained.
The Harris Hill Fire northwest of Joliet and Outlaw Fire northeast of Billings are both 100 percent contained.
The National Fire Information Center reports that the Slough Grass Fire 9 miles southwest of Colstrip started on Monday and is 10 percent contained. According to the center, the fire is exhibiting extreme behavior and structures are threatened 10 miles northwest of Lame Deer.
The Northern Rockies Coordination Center says the Long Spur Fire south of Malta is around 300 acres. The fire was discovered today.
The National Interagency Situation Reporting Program identified 74 percent of current wildfires in Montana as human caused and the rest as lightning caused.
The National Weather Service has announced an excessive heat warning for eastern Montana until Thursday afternoon.
Copyright 2021 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.