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A reality check for haze rule


The haze was thick at Colstrip last week when I visited, but it wasn't because of the 2,200-megawatt coal-burning facility there.

It was because of forest fires. The Rosebud Complex, a group of nearby fires which started August 1, was finally contained two weeks later. This came on the heels of the Ash Creek fire, which burned from late June to mid-July.

In all, these fires burned 421,000 acres, destroying everything from ranchland in Tongue River and Rosebud country to timber in the Custer National Forest whose sale had been held up by an environmental lawsuit.

Those fires released an e...

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