BIA Fire Crews Have Their Hands Full Battling Numerous Fires On Crow Indian Reservation

Photo Courtesy: Garret Costa

Fire crews on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana have been busy stopping ten small human-caused fires – and a few from lightning – since Thursday morning (July 15th).

Four were in Crow, three near Pryor, and three likely caused by a vehicle dragging trailer chains Thursday afternoon south of St. Xavier.

One fireworks fire was on Reno Creek.

Each human-caused fire was less than 1 acre’s size except Saturday morning’s 8 acre East Fork Tullock Creek fire, caused by equipment 15 miles east of Crow Agency.

Two engines and local ranchers contained that fire.

Non-human-caused fires include Sunday’s 3 acre Wallburn 2 fire northwest of Busby, and the 10 acre Cache Creek fire lit Wednesday in grass and timber between Indian Creek and Cache Creek, southeast of Wolf Mountain lookout.

One engine, a Crow squad, Crow helitack and helicopter and a State of Montana DNRC engine cooperated to slow the Cache Creek fire. 

The 1186 acre South Tullock Creek fire east of Crow Agency has five engines working on it Monday.

A Crow squad and engine remained Sunday on the Section House fire south of Pryor.

Two engines assigned to the remote Blacktail Creek fire by Bighorn Canyon should demob from that fire Monday, after smokejumpers left Sunday.

The large fire high on the Bighorns Monday morning is the Crater Ridge fire in Bighorn National Forest about three miles south of the Crow Reservation boundary.

The Rocky Mountain Type 2 “Blue” team managing that fire will include us in their planning.

Monday noon’s Red Flag warning extends 36 hours through Tuesday midnight due to rockbottom low relative humidities, high temperatures to 107 degrees, and gusty winds to 50 mph near thunderstorms each afternoon.

The Hot-Dry-Windy Index, an accurate predictor of large fire growth, nears its 95th percentile Monday on the Reservation.

The NOAA Storm Prediction Center issued a “Critical” fire weather outlook for Monday for southeast Montana.

High temps Sunday reached 106 degrees with 7% relative humidity at Little Bighorn Battlefield NM and 98 degrees with 11% relative humidity atop the Wolf Mountains.

Some lightning is expected Tuesday and Thursday.

Because the area is a busy region now, BIA Crow Agency has engines and staff assisting from Michigan and Oklahoma BIA agencies and from Kansas and Oregon.

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