This news just crossed my inbox from Paula Short with the MT DNRC. Note, a fire burning south of Butte has already destroyed structures and is forcing evacuations as more structures are being threatened.
CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER ON TAP TODAY
Incident Management Teams Staffing Two Large Fires and Assigned to Three More
August 29, 2012, 9:45am, Billings, Montana – Today’s critical fire weather forecast today will challenge firefighters managing several large fires around the state. Incident Management Teams were already assigned to the Delphia Fire in Musselshell County and a pair of fires (Elevation Mountain and Felan Gulch) northeast of Missoula. Three additional teams were ordered for new large fires:
§ The Rosebud Fire is 800-1000 acres burning southwest of Roscoe, Montana in Carbon County. A Type 1 IMT will inbrief on the fire in Red Lodge this evening and assume command of the blaze tonight or tomorrow.
§ A Type 2 IMT will inbrief early this afternoon in Butte for the 19 Mile Fire, which is burning south of Butte and has destroyed structures, with mandatory evacuations and numerous more structures threatened. The fire is estimated at 3000 acres.
§ A Type 2 IMT is ordered for the Millie Fire south of Bozeman on the Gallatin National Forest. That team is expected to arrive tomorrow morning.
Today’s weather forecast is particularly troubling for fire managers: a red flag warning is issued through midnight for most of the state (southwest, central, eastern) for gusty winds, hot temperatures, and low relative humidity ahead of a dry cold front moving through the region today. This will cause active burning on all fires and represents risks to firefighter and public safety. To this end, the public is asked to avoid fire areas if possible to minimize traffic. Please do not stop along the road to observe aircraft, remember to use headlights in smoky areas, and use extreme caution wit any activity with the potential to cause a fire. Fire restrictions are in effect for the majority of the state.
Firefighters from Musselshell County, the BLM and the Montana DNRC are responding to a new fire 16 miles east of Roundup this afternoon.
The Delphia Fire is estimated at 85 acres, burning in grass and timber. The fire is believed to be lightning caused. The DNRC dispatched 10 engines, one air tanker and a helicopter to assist with the suppression effort.
A red flag warning for gusty winds is currently in effect for the area, and the Delphia Fire is being pushed south and east as a result of the winds.
There are no reports of structures immediately threatened and no evacuations have been issued. The fire is in a sparsely populated area east of the community of Roundup.
This is an emerging incident. More information will be shared as it becomes available.