Full attack continues on Eagle Creek Fire in Bear Paws

Overnight camping, travel restricted on Beaver Creek Park


Last updated 9/9/2022 at 11:02am

9:45 a.m.

Hill County Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator Amanda Frickel said this morning that a full attack continues on the Eagle Creek Fire in the Bear Paw Mountains.

Frickel said the fire, first detected on Mount Baldy Wednesday afternoon on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, was estimated this morning at 8,200 acres.

She said containment is estimated at 60 percent off the reservation and 30 percent on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation.

Frickel said about 150 personnel are fighting the fire, with Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and U.S. Bureau of Land Management heading up the effort, along with Rocky Boy fire personnel and volunteer firefighters and assistance from all three counties including multiple volunteer fire departments.

She said two airplanes and two helicopters from DNRC are fighting the fire in the air and bulldozers and Bobcats are being used in the ground efforts.

Watch for more in today's edition of Havre Daily News

7:30 a.m.

Beaver Creek Park administration announced that, as a precautionary measure, the park south of Taylor Road is closed to overnight camping From Thursday, Sept. 8, until further notice due to the Eagle Creek Fire.

Montana Department of Natural Resources said in a release Thursday afternoon that emergency and local travel only is allowed on the roads south of Bear Paw Lake, AKA Second Lake, south of Havre on Montana Secondary Highway 234.

Originally posted 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8

The fire in the Bear Paw Mountains that was reported at 2,000 acres this morning -- but growing rapidly -- was listed at 8,500 acres this afternoon, with Hill County Disaster and Emergency Services reporting at 2 p.m. that it was 45 percent contained but Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation reporting at about 1 p.m. zero percent containment on the reservation side.

A post about 1 p.m. on the Chippewa Creek Tribe Facebook page said the fire, which started on the reservation on Mount Baldy apparently Wednesday, was at about 8,500 acres in its entirety and zero percent contained on the reservation side.

The estimated acreage included the fire perimeter both on and off the reservation, the post said.

The fire is now burning in Hill, Chouteau and Blaine counties.

The post said Rocky Boy's local fire personnel and volunteer fire departments were working with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation on containing the fire.

Hill County Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator Amanda Frickel said about 2 p.m. that all three counties are giving mutual aid in fighting the fire.

Frickel reported the fire as 45 percent contained.

The Chippewa Cree post reported that no evacuations had been ordered at that time for local Rocky Boy residents. It reported the mountains on Rocky Boy on both the Beaver Creek and Big Sandy Creek sides were closed until further notice and hunting is not allowed in the mountains until further notice.

Cattle on the reservation were not in danger at the time the notice was posted and that situation was being closely monitored. Cattle have been observed staying clear of the fire and are considered safe, the post said.

Frickel said one cabin had burned but no injuries were reported as of around 2 p.m.

The Chippewa Cree post said continued air operations to fight the fire were being implemented today as the fire activity was increasing. Due to the air operations no civilian access is allowed in the area.

"Please refrain form going up to the fire areas as you will be asked to turn around," the post said. "Law enforcement is on-site."

The post asked people to adhere to the closures and said more updates will be given.

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

An image released by Montana Department of Natural Resource and Conservation Thursday afternoon shows the extent of the Eagle Creek Fire that started on Mount Baldy on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation.

No additional posts had been made by 8 a.m. Friday.


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