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

Montana Wildfire Update For June 25, 2021

Montana Wildfire News
Montana Wildfire News

Updated 5:30 p.m.

Robertson Draw Fire

Fire crews continue containment efforts on the Robertson Draw and Crooked Creek fires burning in the Custer Gallatin National Forest in south central Montana.

Near Red Lodge, land east of the Beartooth Highway remains closed to recreators heading into the weekend, but the Forest Service is opening the area west of the highway starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, according to a Custer Gallatin National Forest Facebook post. Trails and campgrounds will be open, including the Parkside, Greenough, Limber Pine and MK campgrounds. 

The Forest Service has implemented fire restrictions across the forest starting Friday, and there is a ban on open flames for the foreseeable future. 

Inciweb’s morning report says the 30,000-acre Robertson Draw Fire south of Red Lodge is more than half contained. While the acreage of the fire is holding steady, fire officials say smoke might be visible as interior pockets of the fire flare up. Inciweb says crews will continue to look for any areas of heat along the containment lines on the east side of the fire.

Crooked Creek Fire

The Bureau of Land Management said a mapping mission Thursday downgraded the size of the Crooked Creek Fire to 4,000 acres. The fire, east of Bridger in the Pryor Mountains, is just over 25% contained, and fire crews continue to construct and reinforce fire lines. The BLM says crews are patrolling for pockets of heat and other hot spots that may flare up.

The Northern Rockies Coordination Center estimates current firefighting costs at $6.4 million for Robertson Draw and $2.2 million for Crooked Creek. 

Yellowstone National Park - Elk Creek Fire

Yellowstone National Park reports its first wildfire of the season, started by lightning in the northern part of the park, on a ridge south of Blacktail Drive.

Park officials report the Elk Creek Fire is about a tenth of an acre and was spotted Thursday night by a park visitor.

Park officials say the fire is being suppressed because of an unfavorable location early in the fire season.

Fire danger in the park is rated high. Campfires are only permitted within established fire rings in campgrounds and some backcountry campsites.

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