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Wildfire, fire management and air quality news for western Montana and the Northern Rockies.

5,000 Acre Fire Burning In Powder River County

The Clear Creek Fire burning on the Flathead Indian Reservation near Perma, MT, July 21, 2020.
Confederated Salish & Kootenai Division of Fire
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The Clear Creek Fire burning on the Flathead Indian Reservation near Perma, MT, July 21, 2020.

Fire crews, 9 engines and 14 overhead units are trying to control the 5,000 acre Buffalo Fire burning southwest of Broadus in Powder River County. It took less than four hours yesterday for that fire to explode from 200 acres to 2,500. The fire is so explosive it created its own supercell with its own smoke plume and lightning.

The Buffalo Fire continues to actively burn with running and group torching in timber and tall grass. Six structures are threatened. The fire is 10 percent contained and the cause is unknown.

Firefighters have the 354 acre Clear Creek Fire burning on the Flathead Indian Reservation near Perma 80 percent contained.  The fire, burning in timber, brush and tall grass, is under investigation but is believed to be human caused, started by rock quarry equipment.

Six counties in Montana, including Yellowstone, Musselshell, Silver Bow, Deer Lodge, Cascade and Lewis and Clark have Stage 1 fire restrictions or burn bans in place, and the Bureau of Land Management has implemented Stage 1 fire restrictions for its land in Power River County, effective on Friday.

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Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.
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