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Richard Spring

Unit Information

Daily Fire Update - August 12, 2021

Richard Spring Wildfire
News – 8/12/2021


Public Information Phone: (406) 426-9131     


Personnel:  187           Structures Lost: 12-18 (secondary structures)

Announcements: Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 3 assumed command of the Richard Spring and Lame Deer fires, as of 6:00 a.m. today. New public information phone number and email address are listed above.

Fire managers are organizing public meetings for the Lame Deer and Colstrip communities- to be held in the coming days. Stay tuned for additional meeting details and follow current fire information on the InciWeb page.

Richard Spring Fire (165,424 acres, 0% contained):  The Richard Spring Fire was identified on August 8, 2021, south of Colstrip, MT. Since then, it has burned along the Tongue River and has threatened multiple communities and infrastructure within the area. Firefighters are constructing dozer line and conducting burning operations around Ashland to help protect the community. The fire jumped the Tongue River north of Ashland earlier this week, but firefighters are working to contain that spot fire with indirect line. On the southwestern side of the fire that was threatening the community of Lame Deer, crews used dozers and point-protection measures to protect the community. Wind-driven conditions pushed the fire across US 212 Wednesday evening between mile markers 45 and 48 which closed the highway in both directions.

Lame Deer Fire (3,884 acres, 0% contained): The Lame Deer Fire started August 10 west of Lame Deer, MT and is currently threatening the town. Fire managers anticipate the fire will merge with the Richard Spring Fire.

Numerous engines, heavy equipment, and air support are working on both fires, and fire managers are requesting additional resources. 

Evacuations and Fire Closures: Law enforcement agencies have evacuated the Ashland Divide, Rabbit Town, North Tongue River Road, and the St. Labre Indian Academy Campus. The communities of Lame Deer, Ashland, Muddy Cluster, and Rosebud Cut Across are also evacuated. Pre-evacuation notices are in effect for Rosebud Creek from Greenleaf Creek to Cherry Creek.

Highway 212 is currently closed between Ashland and Lame Deer to all non-residents. Highway 39 is currently open, but this could change at any time due to potential for changing conditions.

Special Messages: Evacuation centers are set up at the Northern Cheyenne Tribal School in Busby, the Multi-Purpose Building in Crow Agency, and Broadus Elementary School. The Colstrip Saddle Club can take horses. Please see the Rosebud County Disaster and Emergency Facebook page for additional evacuation location information.

Please avoid unnecessary traffic in these areas for the safety of fire crews and be aware of loose livestock.

Weather and Fire Conditions: A cold front moved into the fire location overnight with winds switching to the northeast and very limited rainfall over the southern portion of the Richard Spring Fire. Today’s temperatures will be around 80 degrees with a minimum relative humidity around 26%. Firefighters expect the current weather conditions of winds and low relative humidity, combined with high temperatures to continue, which may sustain or increase fire behavior. Fire behavior has been extreme, displaying wind driven runs in the brush, short grass, and timber.

Primary and Cooperating Agencies:   MT- DNRC, BIA, Northern Cheyenne Agency, Rosebud County Sheriff’s Office, Rosebud County Disaster & Emergency Services, Northern Cheyenne Tribe, BLM, Custer-Gallatin National Forest. 

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