Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation
1539 Eleventh Ave.
Helena, MT 59601
Personnel: 208 Structures Lost: 12 (secondary structures)
Announcements: Join fire managers TONIGHT for a public meeting, 6:00 pm at the Colstrip Middle School Auditorium, 216 Olive Drive in Colstrip. Fire managers will host a second public meeting 6:00 pm Saturday, August 14, at the Littlewolf Capital Building, 600 Cheyenne Avenue in Lame Deer.
Richard Spring Fire (170,303 acres, 0% contained): Due to precipitation which occurred over the southern portion of the fire Wednesday night, hand crews and dozers were able to engage the fire early Thursday. Engine crews are mopping up and securing lines along the fire’s north and west perimeter. On the eastern side of the fire, dozers continue to build line, and crews have begun to mop-up. Firefighting resources are currently concentrated along the fire’s active southern and southeastern edge, near Lame Deer and the Highway 212 corridor. Firefighters, including four Hotshot crews, are constructing handline south of Highway 212, in an effort to contain the fire north of the Lame Deer Divide Road. Aerial resources (including both helicopter water drops and airplane retardant drops) continue to support that effort on the ground. Firefighters will work to secure burnout operations conducted last night in the Lame Deer Divide Road and Soldier Gulch Road area and are continuing to mop up along the fire’s southeastern perimeter near Ashland.
Lame Deer Fire (5,427 acres, 0% contained): Moisture over portions of the Lame Deer Fire Wednesday night also enabled firefighters to more safely engage the fire Thursday. Crews conducted burnout operations late Thursday working to keep the fire south of Lynch Coulee Road. Consequently, abundant smoke was visible by late afternoon. Those efforts have been successful so far, and crews now have initial control line constructed around most of the fire perimeter and will continue to strengthen those lines.
Evacuations and Fire Closures: Rosebud County Fire Warden and Rosebud County Sheriff have downgraded the evacuation status for the community of Ashland, including the Ashland Divide, Rabbit Town, North Tongue River Road, and the St. Labre Indian Academy Campus, from Level 3 “Go Now” stage to a Level 1 “Be Ready” stage.
The communities of Lame Deer, Muddy Cluster, and Rosebud Cut Across remain in Level 3 “Go Now” stage. Pre-evacuation notices are in effect for Rosebud Creek from Greenleaf Creek to Cherry Creek and the Lame Deer Divide Road located on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation south of Lame Deer.
Highway 212 is currently closed between Broadus and Crow Agency to all non-residents. Highway 39 is currently open, but this could change at any time due to potential for changing conditions. Residents should continue to check Rosebud County Sheriff’s and DES Facebook pages, Northern Cheyenne Disaster & Emergency Services Facebook page, as well as the Richard Spring InciWeb page, as evacuation and road closure status are being evaluated frequently and could change rapidly.
Special Messages: Evacuation centers are set up at the Northern Cheyenne Tribal School in Busby and the Multi-Purpose Building in Crow Agency. The Broadus Elementary School is now on standby. 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 high temperature of 85 degrees, lower relative humidity, and southeast winds are expected today. Fuels continue to dry out and with the warming and drying trend the next few days, active fire behavior is expected to continue. 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 Tribe, Rosebud County Sheriff’s Office, Rosebud County Disaster & Emergency Services, Ashland Fire Department, BLM, Custer-Gallatin National Forest.