Thu, 07/20/2017 - 5:00am admin
Firefighters monitor hot spots in Big Horn County as temperatures rise
By Jim Eshleman / Big Horn County News
With Big Horn County being under Stage 1 fire restrictions, the hot weather and lighting strikes have caused numerous fires around the area.
Currently, firefighters are battling three blazes.
Fire danger over the weekend was complicated by a series of thunderstorms as temperatures rose into the 90s and 100s that blew through the area last week and this past Sunday.
In a telephone interview with Randy Pretty On Top, incident commander for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, he said, “We have two fires. [One is] the Youngs Creek fire in the Wolf Mountains and it’s contained.”
This fire has burned seven acres of timber and grasslands.
“We still have a crew on site monitoring for hot spots,” he said.
The other fire, which started late Sunday afternoon, is the 10-mile fire located west and south of St. Xavier.
Pretty On Top said, “We contained that fire Monday night, but we still have resources on site.”
The 10-mile fire has consumed 617 acres and, according to Pretty On Top, one of the problems battling that fire was the rough terrain.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, the cause of the fire is listed as unknown, but a thunderstorm did pass through the area before the fire was reported.
The National Interagency Coordination Center reports the 10-mile fire still had two engines, one helicopter and 25 men working the blaze.
Pretty On Top said, “There have been a lot of lighting strikes in the area and they are continuing to monitor the situation.”
Over in Rosebud County, the Tongue River Complex fire consists of two blazes. The Witten fire is about 18 miles south of Lame Deer and the Lee fire is 30 miles south of Ashland. Both are contained as of last weekend. The Witten fire is 28,957 acres and the Lee fire has consumed more than 4,000 acres.
The weather forecast for the Hardin area this week is hot and dry with temperatures in the mid 90s to 100 degrees.
Pretty On Top urges people to be careful when out and about, and remember the fire danger is significant.