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Firefighters contain flare-up in East Fork Fire


September 11, 2017

The East Fork Fire ignited a nearly 400-acre flare-up Friday afternoon after embers were carried past containment lines, prompting responsive action from Type 3 Team fire management members and multiple volunteers and volunteer fire departments, officials said.

The flare-up, which sparked on private land near the junction of Clear Creek Road and Sucker Creek Road in Blaine County about 2 p.m. Friday, was contained within four hours that same day, Incident Commander Don Pyrah of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation said this morning.

The people in the Type 3 Management Team in the area responded, along with multiple volunteer fire departments, landowners and volunteers. Pyrah said the Type 3 Team comprises about 150 personnel, not including those part of volunteer fire departments or the many farmers and ranchers who have responded to the fire.

The gusty winds and high temperature conditions that contributed to Friday’s flare-up and, ultimately, the fire’s startup, are the same type of conditions expected today and Tuesday, Pyrah said.

“We are in critical fire conditions for today and tomorrow,” he said.”That means wind, high temperatures and low humidity.”

The fire is 85 percent contained and has consumed 21,896 acres, according to a fact sheet from the Hill County Emergency Operations Center.

“Crews continue to make good progress with containment efforts today. Minimal fire activity has been observed today. Containment lines have been holding today in spite of the red flag conditions which remain in the forecast for tomorrow as well,” the fact sheet says.

The weather is expected to cool down and may bring some much-needed precipitation starting in the middle of the week, Pyrah said.


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