Updates On 4 Wildfires Burning In Southeastern Montana

Aug 31, 2017

Pictured is a photo taken Wednesday of the Wild Horse fire in Southeastern Montana's Rosebud County.
Credit Courtesy of Sheriff Fulton and Undersheriff Price / Rosebud County Sheriff's Office

Four new fires are reported to have sparked this morning in Southeastern Montana’s Rosebud County.

The Sartin Fire first reported this morning is burning mostly in Custer and Powder River Counties and is approximately 40,000 acres with no containment at this time.

70 people were deployed to it, as it spread across forested land along portions of the Powder River, about one mile from the Brandenburg Bridge in Rosebud County.  

That’s according to the Rosebud County Fire Warden Rod Dresbach.

“I believe the county assist team or CAT team is in briefing right now to take over management of that fire,” says Dresbach.

The CAT is Department of Natural Resources and Conservation sponsored, all-hazard Incident Management team. It’s made up of volunteer firefighters, farmers, ranchers, business people, local government officials, college students, public land employees and others. They step in to help battle wildfires when they grow too large for what initial attack forces are capable of fighting.  

But the Sartin fire is small potatoes compared to a new fire that sprung up in Rosebud County just 2 ½ hours ago:

“The problem that we have right now is The Snyder,” says Dresbach.

Dresbach adds that the Snyder Fire was spotted by a state helicopter, which then deployed a hel-attack crew on the ground, and started dropping buckets on it.

“Air attack came in and they brought in some loads of retardant, SEAT loads of retardant, and at present I can tell you that is estimated at 2,000 acres and running.”

Meanwhile, Dresbach says that the lightning caused Wild Horse Fire, which started last Friday 32-miles southwest of Miles City, is almost completely contained.

“We’ve got line around it about 95-percent, most of the fire activity has diminished, and shortly we will be going into a mop-up stage on the Wild Horse one,” Dresbach says.

Pictured is a Rosebud County Sheriff's truck on site of the Wild Horse Fire.
Credit Courtesy of Sheriff Fulton and Undersheriff Price / Rosebud County Sheriff's Office

And the Richard Coulee fire that sparked this morning is now almost completely contained. Dresbach explains that ranch hands got that one under control quickly and efficiently.

“They said they had that one controlled this morning, I got the phone call about 9 o’clock, the estimated size on that one is about 500-acres.”

Dresbach is sending three ranch engines from the almost 100-percent contained Richard Coulee fire over to the Snyder Fire for support.