The Ash Creek Fire ravaging Montana in and around Lame Deer and the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation had risen to 186,800 acres, or about 265 square miles, as of Monday night July 2.
On July 1 it jumped Highway 212, which is now closed between Ashland and Broadus due to smoke and fire, InciWeb reported. As of Monday morning July 2 it was 55 percent contained, according to InciWeb, though the Associated Press reported it had burned 16 homes and 22 outbuildings.
Fire safety officials urged residents not to engage in fireworks for the Fourth of July, and Northern Cheyenne posted a notice on its site: “There will be NO FIREWORKS allowed from this date until further notice from this office. There will be NO OPEN FIRES allowed for any reason. —NC President Leroy Spang.”
“The Ash Creek fire made a major run yesterday evening and last night during the passage of a cold front that was being pushed by 35-45 mph winds, which lasted for nearly eight hours,” InciWeb reported. “The weather, combined with dry fuel, created very active fire behavior with major crown fires and long-range spotting. This movement expanded the fire about seven miles to the east and eight miles to the south.”
Throughout the state on Monday, at least six major fires had burned about 360 square miles of forest and prairie, the AP reported.
Over in Colorado the Waldo Canyon fire was 70 percent contained as of July 2 evening but had claimed 346 homes in the Colorado Springs area, according to InciWeb.
More on the worst wildfire season in U.S. history to date: