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Tongue River Complex

Unit Information

Custer Gallatin National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
10 East Babcock Ave.
P.O. Box 130
Federal Building
Bozeman, MT 59771

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Incident Contact

Tongue River Complix Fire Information
Phone: (406) 272-9934
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Tongue River Complex Update - July 13, 2017

Tongue River Complex Wildfire
News – 7/13/2017

The Tongue River Complex consists of two separate fires, Lee Creek and Witten. The Witten fire is approximately 18 miles south of Lame Deer, Montana and the Lee Creek fire is approximately 30 miles south of Ashland. Mike Almas’s Northern Rockies Incident Management Team (IMT) assumed command of the Tongue River Complex on July 10, 2017 at 6:00 a.m..

Firefighter, aviation, and public safety continues to be the highest priority during suppression and suppression repair of fire lines.

The Lee Creek fire is 3,357 acres and updated to 100% contained as of this morning. Crews will continue to patrol the fire perimeter today. Crews completed suppression repair of the fireline yesterday. This will be the last report of the Lee Creek fire unless significant fire activity occurs.

The Witten fire is 28,957 acres and 65% contained. Crews were able to take advantage of the lower temperatures and higher relative humidity yesterday and continued to mop-up and improve control lines.

Today crews will patrol and continue mop-up along the fire perimeter and work with landowners to protect areas on unburned grazing lands within the fire area. Crews will also begin suppression repair of the fire line along the northern edge.

While most of the fire line is complete, there remains pockets of unburned fuels. Noticeably warmer weather returns to the area today and will continue through the weekend. The hot, dry weather could cause increased fire activity in smoldering, unburned pockets of fuel and smoke may be seen from within the fire perimeter. Crews will monitor those areas and ensure fire is contained within existing control lines.

Acreage changes on both fires are due to more accurate mapping.

Evacuations: No evacuations are in effect at this time.

Road Closures & Special Announcements: No road or area closures are active at this time. The Incident Management Team and local fire officials would like to express their appreciation to area residents and community members for not accessing the fire perimeter.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place.

By Executive Order, the Northern Cheyenne Tribal President, in consultation with the Superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Tribal Forestry Director and Fire Management Officials placed certain restrictions on activities that will reduce the risk of igniting wildland fires. The fire restriction are as follows:

  • No lighting of fireworks

  • No trash burning

  • Campfires only in designated areas and must be attended to at all times

  • Sweat Lodge fires at established locations are strongly advised and must be attended to at all times

  • No smoking except in closed vehicles or in designated areas

  • All persons traveling on "back roads" are required to stay on established roads due to the increasing risk of fire danger

    The order, signed July 9, 2017, is effective until rescinded.

    Fire Prevention: What can you do, as a homeowner, to protect your home? Information can be found at or please contact Mario Pretty Boy at (406) 477-8267 to schedule a home evaluation.

    For more info: Information for the Tongue River Complex can be found on InciWeb at or by phone at (406) 272-9934. Questions can also be emailed to .


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