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Little Rockies fire leads to Zortman evacuation

Recommended evacuations in Hays and Lodge Pole areas; Agency fire contained

 

Last updated 8/17/2021 at 10:08am

Rod Benson, Fort Belknap Council Facebook page

Editor's note: This version uses updated information from mtfireinfo.gov to correct the names of the fires.

Fires on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation leading to evacuations.

9:15 a.m. A post on the Phillips County Sheriff’s Office at about 9 a.m. said incident command has issued a mandatory evacuation notice for Zortman-area residents. Law enforcement will be going door to door to advise residents to evacuate the area. High winds will be pushing the fire to the Zortman area. People are asked to take essentials only and evacuate to Malta to the old National Guard Armory.

3:15 p.m. A post on the Fort Belknap Indian Community Council Facebook page about midnight warns that Hay,s Pine Grove and Star Hill are on a warning status for evacuation.

Posts there and on the Phillips County Sheriff's Office Facebook page also warn that the fire is moving toward Zortman.

"Pack essentials and be prepared to leave at a moment's notice," the sheriff's office post says. "We will advise if an evacuation is mandatory, at this time just be prepared."

A post about 11 p.m. on the Fort Belknap council page said a purposeful burnout operation was taking place to eliminate fuel to protect the surrounding structures from Pine Grove throughout Carry Water Hill.

A post about 8 p.m. said the fire near the Fort Belknap Agency was contained and hot spots were being mopped up.

4:20 p.m. A post on the Fort Belknap council Facebook page said the Red Whip center will be available for agency residents for the time being while the situation of a fire near the agency is being monitored.

3:30 p.m. A Facebook post about 3:30 said due to Agency fire emergency, an evacuation of Agency residents and office buildings was under way, for all employees and residents along the river at the agency.

A post shortly before 4 p.m. reported that due to a wind shift, the fire was turning toward Lodge Pole. All residents were told to evacuate to the Lodge Pole school.

A post about 4:40 p.m. reported The Eagle Child Healthcare Center __ the Hays Clinic --) was closed, although the emergency room still was open.

Http://mtfireinfo.org lists the Pine Grove Fire between Hays and Lodge Pole and the Runway Fire just west of the Fort Belknap Agency.

The site reports that the Pine Grove Fire was discovered today about 11:36 a.m. and the Runway Fire was discovered today about 3;03 P.M.

12:30 p.m. A Facebook post on the Fort Belknap Indian Community Council website said a large fire was burning in the Carrywater Hill area and surrounding homes were being evacuated.

We are advising all non emergency personnel to stay away from the Carrywater hill and White Cow areas at this time to allow emergency personnel to evacuate the residents safely.

"We are advising all non emergency personnel to stay away from the Carrywater Hill and White Cow areas at this time to allow emergency personnel to evacuate the residents safely," the post said.

Shelters are being set in the Hays school, the John Capture Center in Hays, Lodge Pole Elementary schools, and the Chief Nosey Center in Hays, a post about 1 p.m. ago said.

A post said Indian Health Services emergency medical technicians are available in a center in Hays if services are needed, a post about 3:15 said.

Ron Speakthunder, Fort Belknap Council Facebook page

An incident command center is being set up in the green Kills at Night Recreation Center in Hays if people have questions, a post about 2:30 p.m said.

A post about 2:45 p.m. asked people who are not actively engaged in the evacuation process to stay off all roadways to allow emergency responders and emergency personnel to respond to the situation. This includes all routes, roads public and private, the post said. No vehicles of any kind, including four-wheelers, side-by-sides and horses, are allowed.

A post also says that If people are obstructing or fail to yield to emergency vehicles or personnel they will be charged offenses including refusal to obey and negligent endangerment.

Watch for more here and in Tuesday's edition of Havre Daily News.

 

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