Abandoned campfire causes small fire in Bighorns
BIGHORN NATIONAL FOREST — A small campfire expanded to a larger fire in the Bighorn Mountains, reminding recreators to remain vigilant in putting out campfires.
An abandoned campfire, measuring roughly 10 feet by 20 feet, on the Buffalo side of the mountain escaped from a fire ring and caused a small fire in the campsite. It took approximately four crew members between four and six hours to put out the fire.
U.S. Forest Service public affairs officer Suzan Guilford said USFS employees have found several abandoned campfires recently. Guilford warned that hot winds and warm temperatures make it easy for campfires to start up again if not properly extinguished. She advised anyone making a campfire to start putting out the fire before packing up camp. The fire should be completely drowned in water and should also be mixed up to ensure no coals are still burning.
Leaving a campfire burning is a chargeable offense.
No fire restrictions are in place yet, but Guilford said the local Forest Service employees are weighing the possibility.
Rain aids efforts to fight Northern Cheyenne fires
CROW NATION — The efforts of local firefighters and Tuesday’s rain have helped calm the nine lightning fires on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, but extinguishing the fires will take several more days, according to Bureau of Indian Affairs fire management officer Adam Wolf.
“The rain is helping us with mop-up and we are all very grateful,” Wolf said.
Retardant drops followed by dozer work contained 40 percent of the 60-acre Wolf Creek fire by midnight Monday, Wolf said.
He also estimated that the 90-acre Buffalo springs fire is 40 percent contained and the 35- to 40-acre Golden Eagle Fire is 20 percent contained.
The rain has had the biggest impact on the 20- to 25-acre Upper Lynch Coulee and Coulee grass fires, both of which Wolf said are about 50 percent contained; the 10-acre Fourth Coulee fire is also 50 percent contained.
“The rain really settled them down,” Wolf said.
The Lame Deer weather forecast is calling for sun and 92-degree temperatures Thursday and Friday. The forecast indicates there is a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms Saturday as any rain helps the firefighters as they battle the blazes in Montana.