Tim Leeds Havre Daily News email@example.com
A burning motor home started three fires in Phillips County Monday, including one blaze that burned about 5,000 acres. “We had a motor home that was actually on fire and (the drivers) didn’t know it,” Phillips County Undersheriff Scott Moran said this morning. “They were driving down the highway and it was starting the fires.” Moran said the motor home, which apparently started burning in the engine compartment at the back of the vehicle, started one fire east of Malta which was contained at about one acre. Another fire just east of Malta was contained at about 30 acres. Firefighters were able to save structures threatened by that fire. The largest fire was west of Malta, and was contained at about 5,000 acres. That fire still has hot spots and smoldering coulees and is being watched, Moran said. The first fire was started at about 1 p.m. Moran said the firefighters responding to the fires included those from Malta, Fort Belknap, Harlem and the Bureau of Land Management office in Lewistown and personnel from the C.M. Russell Wildlife Refuge. “And lots of local ranchers,” Moran said. A BLM representative said five fire engines and a helicopter and single-tanker aircraft were dispatched to help fight the fire west of Malta Monday. The last fire was contained about 10:30 p.m., Moran said. The drivers of the motor home were not cited with any violations, but the vehicle was totaled, he said.