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

Montana Wildfire Update For July 20, 2021

Montana Wildfire News

The Granite and Missoula County Sheriff's Offices have evacuation orders and warnings in place because of the Anderson Hill Fire burning 800 acres 15 miles west of Ovando, according to the incident’s latest update on Inciweb.

A fire update shared by the Granite County Sheriff’s office says, “at least five cabins and additional structures have been evacuated” in the county.
Neither the Sheriff's Office, nor Inciweb have released specifics about the areas under evacuation orders.

The Bureau of Land Management continues its closure of the Garnet Ghost Town Historic site.

The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office has issued an expanded evacuation warning for Granite and Lolo Hot springs as the Granite Pass Complex fires continue to burn in the vicinity of Lolo Pass. According to a Sheriff Office Facebook post Tuesday afternoon the warning is for homes along and accessed off Highway 12 from mile marker 10 to the Idaho border.

Residents in this area should be prepared to evacuate immediately if an order is issued.

The Granite Pass Complex is made up of four wildfires burning a total of more than 2,000 acres. One of the fires is expected to impact Highway 12 at any time and fire officials are asking travelers along the highway to not stop.

Fire information can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7653/ or by calling the Fire information Line at 406-624-9176

An increase in fire activity, a heat advisory and a red flag warning for the nearly 30,000-acre Robertson Draw Fire south of Red Lodge has prompted evacuation warnings.

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 Custer Gallatin National Forest reports a better chance of thunderstorms with a mix of wet and dry storms with strong, gusty winds this afternoon. The human-caused Robertson Draw Fire is 85 percent contained.

The Carbon County Sheriff’s Office reports the 2,700-acre Harris Fire, located 1 mile north of Joliet is 80 percent contained and all evacuations and road closures have been lifted. The Northern Rockies Coordination Center reports firefighters expect to reach containment by late Tuesday and begin demobilization of resources on Thursday. The cause of the Harris Fire is unknown.

The Buffalo Fire in Yellowstone County, 7 miles east of Billings near Pryor Creek Golf Course and the White Buffalo Trail Road is 100 percent contained. Firefighters continue to strengthen containment lines and will begin rehabilitation operations.

New Fires
The National Interagency Fire Center reports there were 5 new fire starts in Montana on Monday, prompting minimal initial attacks by federal, state and local firefighters. Two of the fires were contained or controlled by late Monday.

The largest of the blazes is the Slough Grass Fire, 9 miles southwest of Colstrip in Rosebud County in south central Montana. The National Fire Information Center reports the more than 9,700 acre fire began on private land northwest of Lame Deer and is zero percent contained. Fire resources from Big Horn and Rosebud counties as well as federal and state governments are on scene, including large and small air tankers and helicopters. The Northern Rockies Coordination Center reports one structure has been destroyed and nine are threatened. There are no evacuation orders in place.

The National Interagency Situation Reporting Program identified 74 percent of current wildfires in Montana as human caused and the rest as lightning caused.

Both the Northern Rockies and national fire preparedness tiers are at level 5, the highest stage because of widespread fire activity.

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