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Montana Forest Fires – Wednesday Morning June 27

pony fire
Smoke from the Pony Fire. (Arlee Staley, USFS)
(Information gathered at 8am Wednesday)
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has declared the counties of Lewis and Clark, Broadwater, Jefferson and Madison under a state of emergency, due to uncontrolled forest fires.

Winds up to about 60 miles per hour sent the fires in all directions, with the Dahl Fire in Musselshell County making a 12-mile run. This morning, that fire is estimated to be 19,000 acres. Another fire was reported yesterday afternoon in Musselshell County. That 1,500 acre fire is call the Hawk Creek Fire. A Red Cross center has been set up in nearby Roundup and evacuations are in effect in areas affecting at least 150 homes including the Signal Peak coal mine.

A Type 2 National Incident Management team has arrived in the Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest to oversee the fight on the 750-acre Antelope Lane Fire, 10 miles north of Whitehall, and the Pony Fire near Pony, MT, which is now at 2,500 acres. The Pony fire has caused evacuations from Mammoth and South Boulder to the Judson Mead Indiana University Geology Field Station.

The Corral Fire, north of Helena in the Scratchgravel Hills has caused evacuations of subdivisions as that blaze reached 1,200 acres in size.

On the Madison River, 20 miles Northeast of Ennis, the Bear Trap 2 Fire is now at 3,000 acres and is burning in rugged area on both sides of the Madison River and has crossed Highway 84, which is closed due to fire traffic. All recreation sites on the lower Madison Special Recreation Management Area are closed. Initial investigation shows that the Bear Trap fire was started by a spark from a firework.

And that leads us to remind folks that fireworks are not allowed in national forest lands. So, if you’re heading out into the woods, leave your fireworks behind.

The US Department of Homeland Security announced that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) will be using federal funds to help with the Corral Fire near Helena and the Dahl Fire in Musselshell County near Roundup.

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